Snapchat tips, hacks, tricks, websites
An image of the Snapchat logo created with Post-it notes is seen in the windows of Havas Worldwide at 200 Hudson Street in lower Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 18, 2016. Reuters/Mike Segar

Snapchat has become the fastest growing social network today. A large portion of the planet’s smartphone owners use the app frequently to satisfy their selfie needs and send these “snaps” to friends. So what exactly makes Snapchat so popular in today’s world dominated by so many social media apps?

Snapchat was created by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy as students at Stanford University in 2011. In May 2016, the company was valued at US$18 billion (AU$23 billion) by investors.

The auto-delete feature

All the media uploaded on Snapchat can only be seen for a certain amount of time a user prefers. After that, they are auto-deleted and can never be seen again. Snapchat somehow challenges the notion that anything put on the Internet is permanent. Users can post wacky and embarrassing photos and videos of themselves without having to worry about long term consequences. They also receive notification when their friends take screenshots of their snaps, tracking those who grab their content.

Updated filters

The biggest reason perhaps why Snapchat has skyrocketed its way to the top of social media charts is the ever-changing cycle of its filters. Snapchat constantly puts out new filters to engage its users. It is the reason why users check the app every now and then: to try something new.

Acquisition of Bitstrips

Snapchat confirmed that it acquired Bitstrips for US$100 million (AU$131 million) in July 2016. Bitstrips created Bitmoji, a feature that allows users to make their own custom emojis that complement their expressions. This acquisition can only boost interaction among Snapchat users.

Keeping it fresh

Snapchat is popular to youngsters because among the giant social media platforms available, it is still considered relatively new. Teenagers want a sense of privacy that they can no longer experience on older social networks like Facebook, where parents, uncles and older siblings are already on. With Snapchat, they are locked inside a virtual world with their own kind.

Exclusive on mobile

Most mobile apps are easy to use, and Snapchat is no different. The interface is not complicated even to novice smartphone users. It’s simple, fast and easy.

Snapchat has become an iconic social network phenomenon, joining Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the top. It has a growing number of users that is progressively going beyond youngsters. And things are just going to get bigger for Snapchat from here on out. Not bad for something that was started initially as a class project.