Two months ago, we gave you the ultimate lowdown on Snapchat, the messaging app for quickly-vanishing photos and videos.
Since then, the startup has made the news on a regular basis, cementing its position as one of the most powerful mobile platforms on the social media scene.
Did you miss any major news? Read below for a recap of what happened in the Snapchat universe:
Following last month’s announcement of a new funding round, in which the Snapchat team was looking to raise half a billion dollars, two major players have come forward: Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Alibaba. According to Bloomberg, the Chinese e-commerce platform has plans to develop mobile services and would invest $200 million in the app. The valuation is currently at $15 billion.
Should the fundraising campaign be successful, that valuation could increase to $19 billion. However, as things stand, the mobile messaging company has officially settled in the third spot of The Unicorn List. This in-group of the most valuable startups in the world is led by Xiaomi ($45 billion valuation) and Uber ($40 billion). Other “unicorns” include Airbnb ($13 billion) and Dropbox ($10 billion).
Now, what is new with Discover? The new Snapchat section featuring videos and stories that disappear within 24 hours officially launched at the end of January with channels from a select group of publishers, including BuzzFeed and CNN.
So far, Discover has been a resounding success. Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton reports that, “Snapchat is sharing with publishers data that includes both how many unique Snapchat users read their snaps and how long they spend doing so.”
The Snapchat team is not resting on its laurels, though. The next step in the expansion plan is to tap into live sporting events. The company has struck a deal with Turner Sports, CBS Sports, and the NCAA to gain access to videos created by basketball fans during March Madness. The goal? Make the content available via its Story feature. It would then disappear within 24 hours of publication.
“Turner may try to sell advertisements later in the tournament should enough fans watch the stories,” say Lucas Shaw and Sarah Frier on Bloomberg. “Any ad revenue would be shared. The content won’t include any live game footage, one person said, though it could incorporate highlight clips.”
Millennial love for Snapchat
Under 35? There’s a good chance you’re Snapping. A whopping 71 percent of Snapchat’s US-based users are between the ages of 18 and 34, a new study from research firm ComScore shows, as CNET writes. Facebook and Twitter lag behind in that department, attracting 38 percent and 41 percent of users in that age group, respectively. Users send 400 million snaps every day.
One black spot in the list is the recent departure of three Snapchat executives – Mike Randall (Sales Head), Sara Sperling (HR Director), and Emily White (COO). According to Re/code, while the former two left for personal reasons, White’s decision came as a result of CEO Evan Spiegel wanting “more purview over the entire fast-growing startup, which was counter to [her] desire for more leadership growth.”