Where social media networks are concerned, Snapchat got started carving out a niche for itself and then evolving into something most 18 – 25 year olds use more than they would perhaps Instagram or Facebook. Along with those two and Twitter, Snapchat has become one of the biggest and most active social media networks out there. Unlike WhatsApp and Instagram, the firm also rebuffed buyout offers from big, blue Facebook, and are now reportedly making another acquisition of their own this month. According to an exclusive report published by Fortune, Snapchat is to purchase Bitstrips for a cool $100 Million.
For those not familiar with Bitstrips, the platform rose to fame some quite some time ago for allowing people to creating comic strips of a few panes – similar to those of XKCD fame – with themselves in it to publish on Facebook, Twitter or wherever else. That was back in late 00's, but in 2014 the firm changed their attack to allowing users to create more animated and more lifelike emoji of themselves through the Bitemoji service. A fun way of making a personal Emoji that matches hair style, eye color, skin color and more to the person sending the emojis, it's this that Snapchat is reportedly going after. The Bitemoji app is available on Android and iOS and bridges the gap between everyday emoji and the increasingly-popular stickers. Whether or not Bitstrips and the Bitemoji platform is worth $100 Million is debatable, but judging from the Fortune report, the deal is as good as done.
It's likely that what Snapchat is looking for here is a way to further extend their filters, which apply to a video or picture that users take and then send to friends and family. The filter side of Snapchat has proven lucrative for the company, as many of these overlays aren't free, which in turn brings in more money for Snapchat. The firm recently launched GPS-based filters, great for parties and events, which has helped promote Snapchat usage at major events and such. As emoji become more and more popular, it could be a boon for Snapchat and a way for the company to offer even more personalized features, further distancing themselves from the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp and other competitors.