The Future of Snapchat?


By: Lindsay Wesche


Hey UMSL! If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time on your phone. I know for myself, I spend a lot of time on social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Each of them are unique in their own ways and offers a unique experience. Articles and stories started appearing a few days ago hinting at Snapchat going broke, which poses the questions of how did this happen and what is the future of the app? Is Snapchat truly running out of cash? Let’s take a closer look.

In case you don’t know, Snapchat is a globally used multimedia messaging app that launched in 2011, known for capturing pictures and capturing videos that disappear after ten seconds. After several recent updates, users became frustrated with all of the changes and stopped using the app. While Snapchat is actively trying to regain these users, they seem to have been smacked with another issue, one that could have the potential of shutting down the app completely.

Rewinding to September of 2018, Snap Inc., which is Snapchat’s formal stock name, fell 22.2% after congressional hearings with Twitter and Facebook. This hearings triggered sell-offs for many major social media platforms, which Snapchat was a part of. Fast forward to October 2018. Snap’s share price is still on a downward spiral and sits at -11.8% as of October 8th. Surely the downfall of stock can contribute to their issue.

Perhaps another factor in this situation is the lackluster sales of Snap’s Spectacles. Snapchat Spectacles are sunglasses that record ten second videos and saves them in the memories section of your phone’s app. The first pair was introduced in 2016. According to reviews, when the first pair was introduced, people thought the spectacles were a cool idea but that the glasses looked rather weird and needed a more traditional sunglasses style, resulting in very few sales. Snapchat’s investment into the first pair of Spectacles didn’t seem to pay off, as many people weren’t satisfied with the design and were hesitant to buy them. In an effort to decrease this hesitation, Snapchat released Spectacles 2 in 2018. This pair has a few different features than the first, and takes on a more traditional sunglasses design. I’m sure reviews will start pouring in soon and we’ll see if these reviews differ from the first pair.

Snapchat’s redesign has proved to be unsuccessful as well. After an update earlier this year, users were finding that the app was hard to navigate just when they were becoming familiar from the previous update. Users complained about many sections of the app and stated that they were trying to put too much focus on paid advertisements. Coincidence? I think not. Celebrities played a huge role in hindering the success of the redesign too. They started showing their dismay towards the app’s new design through their social media channels, stating that they would stop using the app unless it returned to its old design, and many users followed suit. Snapchat lost over one billion dollars from one post that a public figure posted. Just think how much money was lost as more posts were being made and more users stopped using the app.

 

I’m not sure what the future of Snapchat may be, but I don’t see it being very bright. Snapchat has lost a lot of money this year and the company is quickly trying to recover from a brutal downward spiral to gain users back. Rumor is that if Snapchat doesn’t start making money again the app will become a thing of the past by the middle of 2019. I hope this doesn’t happen, as I use Snapchat daily, and I’m sure many others do too.

If you’d like to hear about other social media apps struggling among their competition, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to hear from you!