Snapchat has come a long way to become the spectacle it is today. As the oldest brother of four I still remember when Snapchat was known exclusively by my youngest brother who was still in high school at the time.
When Facebook offered Snapchat $3 Billion to be acquired founder and CEO Evan Spiegel surprisingly declined the offer. Overnight the company was a household name.
From there the growth continued. I watched from New York as they secured offices in the old New York Times building, one floor below where I was working at the time. A few months later most of the Times Square billboards were taken over by iconic white ghosts on yellow backdrops.
Around this time I started using Snapchat on a daily basis and so did a lot more people. Brands started to take notice. Snapchat started selling ads for more money then YouTube was charging for its famous homepage banner ad.
The company kept iterating on its mobile first platform without adding unnecessary distractive features. Like all great companies they made complex things feel simple. Adding augmented reality as face filters, gamification through badges, publicly accessible geotagging called geo-filters, QR codes rebranded as snapcodes and more.
After fundraising millions and rebranding as Snap Inc they are now doubling down on their new mission to be a camera company. Their first hardware product, Spectacles, is slowly being released around the country by a surprisingly cool popup vending machine called "Snapbot". One of which just showed up in New York City!
For me Snapchat has replaced Facebook as the way I stay in touch with friends and family. If you don't currently have some Snapchat streaks with your friends and family or know what they are I suggest you start some today. They are fun and effective for making sure you communicate with people each day.
And recently the company has filed for an IPO. I have to say Snapchat, or Snap Inc. as it is now called, has become a company I am very fond of. They have come a long way from "that app where your photos delete themselves after 10 seconds". Snapchat has stayed true to the mission of making a great product that helps people connect. I am excited to see the company IPO and watch what they do next.
Epilogue: If you want to check out my Snapchat adventures around New York City and the rest of the world you can add me by clicking here!