I have always hated Snapchat.
That much is certain. I decided to pen some thoughts about Snapchat after reading a post by Scott Galloway. Mostly, this is about the users. Not so much about Snap Inc.
However, back in 2013 I thought it was a pretty addicting, innovative, neat social network. It's obvious that there is nothing special about Snapchat in comparison to Facebook and Instagram. Apart from catalyzing college students to partake in the sending of nudes, Snapchat doesn't really bring much to the table.
The format, Stories as they are now colloquially known as — are the real the magic — magic might not create revenue. But magic creates addiction. And addiction keeps people tapping into news, and sorts of content that generates Snap some coin.
I won't go into a lot of detail on why Snapchat is failing, but I'll drop a couple below. What I really want to talk about are the addicted.
Where will users go when they see the fabled "We regret to inform you Snapchat is shutting down. Thank you for all the snaps."?
What will become of the Story Format? How will it evolve under the guidance of the Facebook overlords?
Permanence > ephemeral
I know many Generation Z users that fully understand Snapchat is on its way out. Many of them do not care. Many are also users of other Social Networks, hedging their personal brand. Dipping their toes into the tepid waters of a new social arena. Where permanence, data, analytics, likes, and numbers win — every fucking day. Collectively, Gen Z really doesn't give a fuck about Snapchat — now.
The Generation Z migration is currently underway. Snapchat continues to burn cash to keep users on a sinking ship. Snapchat never even got to the stage where you're parents signed up. To make matters worse, it's almost as if shareholders knew this would happen. You can't even buy a voting share of $SNAP. Non of the Series B shares you can buy on stock exchanges carry ANY voting power. Fucking. Insane.
I remember fond times in college Tinder'ing, roadtrips, befriending people at parties, and debating politics with me college colleagues. Ahhh nostalgia. Fun place, right?
There will come a time that Snapchat enters the nostalgic realm and become immortal too, not unlike Vine.
We learned a lot from Vine. Turns out, people really liked it. Even though the product sucked at making money, it was cool. Snapchat is a different animal though. The entire product is ephemeral. There will be no archiving apart from snaps saved to camera roll on your iPhone.
When Snapchat closes its doors and literally sets ablaze the $22 billion — it will go the way of the BetaMax and the DVD.
Good riddance too. Who the fuck buys DVD's anymore? Nostalgia is a huge part of the product exit. Hopefully Snap will end this gracefully. Maybe a severely undervalued sale to Facebook? Maybe a pivot? A PornHub or Tinder acquisition? Wouldn't that be something... Who knows.
All that I do know, is that it is FAST approaching. I predict the fall/sale/pivot of Snapchat to happen before the end of 2019.
It's a damn shame this is all happening so fast, but then again — maybe they shouldn't have burned so much cash in the first place. I may not like Snapchat, but I can respect the Story Format it created. I can appreciate the hustle. I can appreciate a company forming out of an idea the size of a peanut. I can appreciate the users that really like this platform.
But does Snap Inc. care? Can't say that they do.