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Snapchat: a Now Famous Ghost Born as a Failure

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom weird inventions like high heels with wheels inserted for easier movement, to unique apps that can help with securing or even controlling the house from away, technology has the capacity to change people’s lives. But being on the creating end is a huge gamble. According to Startup Grind writer Patrick Maloney, “Somewhere between 30 percent and 80 percent of all startups, unfortunately fail – the discrepancy in figures is due to the wide definition of ‘fail’– and it isn’t always because the idea for the business is bad.” So when we see an app or invention make its way into our daily life, we know it likely has a fascinating story to tell.

Enter Snapchat.

In 2011, young and yet unknown Stanford student, Evan Spiegel, had his final project for Product Design. He and his friends, Bobby Murphy and Frank Brown, had launched a prototype to future Snapchat, Picaboo. “No one used it except my mom,” chuckles Evan Spielberg as he tells his story at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Fortunately for the young Spiegel, luck smiled at him and his co-founder Bobby Murphy, who later launched their new startup, Snapchat.

Snapchat was a rebirth of Picaboo, which had the same concept of disappearing videos and massages. This little ghost app, worth 20 billion, now stands proudly with social media giants like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, tried to buy Snapchat for three billion dollars, but was rejected by Evan Spiegel who maintained his company and ideas. He shared the following advice with those gathered at his graduation at Stanford University, [quote]“Create something that you don’t want to sell.”[/quote]

According to Bloomberg, there are 150 million people using Snapchat every day, which is 10 million more users that Twitter. The massive ghost addiction also took over celebrities and their lives. Many post something intriguing or scandalous on their Stories every day. This app has taken over not only America but other continents as well.

Well known vlogger from Czech Republic, Jessica Hashkova, who spent last year at Thornton has made Snapchat an important part of her daily life. “I think I started using snapchat in 2012,”. After getting her Stories viewed by thousands, something else happened in her life. The young blogger came to TA in 2016, and when she graduated she found new connections, knowledge, and even more friends. All this fed her online profile.

16118397_773699082779157_930491382_nSometimes mission impossible can be possible, as Jessica had continued her Czech vlogging even here; the true vlogger never 2xS (she never sleeps, or stops). She admits that she spends too much time on it, vlogging, checking other stories, and talking to her friends. Besides vlogging, Jessica also heads to Q&A online via Snapchat to answers questions from her followers. “I don’t even know when it started. I think one day they just asked me to do it,” said young vlogger in a Skype call to the dorms from Czech Republic.

Usually, Snapchat is used for private communication and Jessica  is no exception, “it’s amazing how many people you can reach there.” Indeed, the ghost app is available in a lot of countries and developed additional setting which allows users to use their pictures or videos previously recorded  on the smartphone. Snapchat is also famous for its original filters, sponsored by brands like McDonald, Vans, Empire FOX, or [quote]“really really funny filters… you can look as a dog or toast, it’s hilarious!” [/quote] smiles Jessica.

Snapchat is always in the process of adding or developing their system, applications, and of course all their beloved filters. It’s only been being used for 5 years but has accomplished great results and followers. “I think it’s just a great social media where people can share their moments in a special way!”

Though the white ghost has populated thousands of smartphones, for the CEO Evan Spiegel, it is not enough as other social medias are stepping from behind. Recently Instagram has featured their new development called Story. The Snapchat  army was frustrated and angry with Instagram calling them “unfair”, “not cool”. Therefore Instagram C.E.O. Kevin Systrom hoped to loosen the tension  little bit by sharing some of his thoughts and explanations in one of his interviews. He told TechCrunch, “When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.” And to clear out all confusion with new Instagram update Story, he added that Snapchat “deserves all the credit”.

The strong competition between social media companies will always be a trend. The faster the new update comes out, the more followers that company gets. Though to definitely step up his game, Evan Spiegel came out with a new product for his ghost company. Spectacles, or glasses that record videos and send it directly to the Snapchat app. They are similar to Google Glasses that came out not so long ago. And so, the famous question of who borrows from who or who deserves the credit, continues to be controversial.

Snapchat became part of daily lives and stands strong on the social media ladder. Even though this white ghost looks kind, it is a huge player in the monster fight that is called modern media addiction. That though it is a topic for another day, for now, more and more people (ages 18-34) say that they “actually love this app” and are looking forward to its future development.


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