In an online social world dominated by Facebook, nobody thought another company could rival Facebook after it became the largest social network in the world in 2009. But two years later Snapchat would rise and give Facebook a few shivers.
Facebook is more than a $300 Billion dollar worth, but they are still vary about the $15 Billion dollar Snapchat. This is evidenced from the fact that Mark Zuckerberg tried to acquire Snapchat multiple times and was rejected. They even tried to make Snapchat clones not once but twice with Poke in 2012 and Slingshot in 2014.
Difference between Snapchat and Facebook
So what makes Snapchat different that Facebook hasn’t able to replicate?
The Millenials are here
Snapchat has captured the millennial market. Over 37% of Snapchat’s uses are in the 18 to 24 age bracket. This age group is most likely to make purchases online compared to any other generation before this. They are most likely to be engaging by creating snaps, videos and content and not just lurking.
Snapchat has the ephemeral aspect nailed down. What is ephemerality? It’s the quality of something being temporary or lasting for a very short time. There is a huge psychological angle to this that not a lot of people see. The value of something is much more, if it’s short. If we could all live for 500 years we would value life even lesser. Snapchat’s DNA has Images that self-kill within a short span of time. This has the user’s full attention when seeing their friends content and it also means that the user who is posting is less inhibited and more of themselves.
Snapchat advertisements are completely different from Facebook. First of all they occupy the whole screen and not just one single item in a never-ending news feed. Snapchat advertisements are based on user’s choice. Snapchat discover has brands displaying their content front and center where users go in search of content and see ads. Snapchat ads are also simple, its mobile only and it is full screen as well which has more of an Impact than that of Facebook.
One aspect I’ve noticed in business is the core DNA of what a company is made of and other companies cannot replicate what they started with. This is what makes each company great, their Individual quotients. Facebook’s growth and Innovations could not be matched by any of the other bigger companies in the same space, Google failed miserably with their social offering.
But this individual quotient is also their Achilles heel, businesses with focused goals and a strong DNA do not always see an emerging trend and there is always something missed by them early on, which become the DNAof newer emerging companies.
Here is a video of Evan Spiegel talking about Snapchat. He talks about the evolution of Social Media.