Snapchat was launched out of a fraternity in 2011 as an application for friends to send annotated photos — mostly selfies — to each other. The photos or videos disappear a few seconds after the recipient views them. Since then, the company has added a slew of new features to entice users, letting them make their own “story” posts for all of their friends to see.
It has raced to the top of the photo sharing hill and captured the imagination of the valuable teen market. Snapchat’s popularity isn’t showing any signs of slowing after it leapfrogged Twitter to become the third most used social media app.
With Facebook launching in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010, and Snapchat in 2011. Despite being the youngest service, Snapchat has experienced some impressive growth. Snapchat creates a brand new way to communicate with friends that is fun and interactive, while creating a sense of privacy through the disappearing nature of the content.
All these things quickly led Snapchat to come to the attention of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Just one year after launch, Zuckerberg reportedly tried to buy the app for $3 billion. But Spiegel turned the offer down. He saw what Zuckerberg saw: the potential to fill-in the social pipelines that other platforms had ignored.