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Snapchat: Popularity germinates, safety concerns arise

Snapchat, the billion dollar social media company has grown substantially in value terms and very quickly over the past five years. With an increasing amount of new developments, Snap Inc. has somewhat introduced a new development which could revolutionize users’ experience with the smartphone’s interference with regards to day to day activities. Snap Map reveals a user’s location in real time to his/her friends or public in a design friendly interface which could mean friends can track exactly where their friends are at any point of time. With some positive uses, it also prompts borderline ‘stalker’ activity that could lead to safety concerns in some cases. A firm now competing with social media giants such as Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, it remains to be seen whether this growth is to continue or updates like Snap Map put it at extreme risk.

Snapchat has grown significantly in the social media segment over recent years. With the explosive growth in subscribers and continued usage from celebrities and businesses worldwide, there is no surprise that its market value now exceeds $25bn – far more than what Facebook once offered to buy it at back in 2013, for just $3bn.

In valuation terms, Snapchat has already exceeded the likes of Twitter and Weibo, it has almost doubled LinkedIn in subscriber volume in such a short space of time. The future looks promising for Snapchat as it attempts to catch up with Instagram which is owned by Facebook. After Snapchat rejected Facebook’s initial offer, Facebook fought back by introducing ‘Instagram Stories’ which had Snapchat-like features in an attempt to swing some market share.

Now competing with the likes of Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, Snapchat’s revenue model has developed from a free B2C concept to a model that will soon be turning over up to $1bn for the photo sharing app based firm. Millions of dollars are invested into targeted ads through digital platforms; it is a growing method of businesses reaching its target audiences. Snapchat has placed itself in a strong position for brands to market themselves through its app. The use of geotags and sponsored filters allow Snapchat to charge large sums to businesses wanting to reach specific markets.

A new update has led to a controversial circumstance regarding privacy. Snap Map (Snapchat’s latest update feature) will reveal the location of user’s friends on a virtual map representing the real world. With many users at risk, there has been a little less confidence shown from investors which was proven by a falling share price in recent weeks.

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