Snapchat’s Chief Executive Officer, Evan Spiegel, announced yesterday evening that the service is approaching one hundred million daily active users (approximately one tenth that of Facebook). Back in August, the business reported that it had exceeded one hundred million monthly active users but Evan prefers the fault count, believing that to be more accurate. He has said that internally, Snapchat prefer to think of hourly active users. This is because the smartphone has become ubiquitous amongst many populations and people always carry them, so monthly active users, which implies a more structured approach to using a given application or service, isn’t specific enough. This is a growing pain that many of the older social networks have already encountered.
Evan was speaking at Re/Code’s Code Conference. However, whilst Snapchat’s daily use volume is one tenth that of Facebook, Snapchat users watch around half as many videos as Facebook users every day, according to a recent Bloomberg article and interview. The data shows that approximately two thirds of Snapchat users are creating their own content every day. Until now, Snapchat had not disclosed its usage statistics and these figures underpin the businesses’ valuation at a little over $15 billion. We have seen the service increasing its advertising recently along with new services, such as “Stories,” which can be supported by advertisers. The Snapchat Stories feature is the ability to pull together a collection of photographs and videos sourced from a number of different users based on a location. On the subject of advertising, Evan promises: “We don’t want brands to act like people, because they’re not people! So, we don’t make it easy for them to do that.” He also commented that advertisements felt very out of place with normal snaps but were much more fitting into Stories, and that users are checking out more Stories and normal Snapchats. Essentially, the Snapchat user interaction is about people talking and Even does not wish to interrupt this.
As a service, Snapchat has had its ups and downs, but the new Stories feature together with disclosing usage statistics appears to be showing that the business is starting to mature and conform more to the established norm for social networks. It is going to be interesting to see how Snapchat will continue to evolve its business in the coming months and how advertisers respond to not being able to adapt to Snapchat’s way of doing things.