CEO Evan Spiegel talks about what makes Snapchat so popular

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Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel

On Saturday, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel delivered a keynote address at the AXS Partner Summit, where he spoke candidly about his vision for Snapchat, and how its success will define the future of social media.

Spiegel said he saw Snapchat as the next generation of social media, due to the emergence of three factors that define its success.

You can read the entire speech here, but here are some of the more interesting parts of it

1. The prevalence of "internet everywhere"

Traditional social media required us to have outside experiences which we could then turn into content for the digital platform. Spiegel says the difference with Snapchat is that it itself is the experience. 

"Internet Everywhere means that our old conception of the world separated into an online and an offline space is no longer relevant. Traditional social media required that we live experiences in the offline world, record those experiences,and then post them online to recreate the experience and talk about it."

"Snapchat relies on Internet Everywhere to provide a totally different experience. Snapchat says that we are not the sum of everything we have said or done or experienced or published – we are the result. We are who we are today, right now. We no longer have to capture the “real world” and recreate it online – we simply live and communicate at the same time."

Put simply, instead of communicating on the social media platform, the social media platform IS the communication itself.

2. The ability to create media quickly and easily

To drive home this point, Spiegel delivered an ode to The Selfie.

And until now, the photographic process was far too slow for conversation.But with Fast + Easy Media Creation we are able to communicate through photos, not just communicate around them like we did on social media. When we start communicating through media we light up. It's fun. 

The selfie makes sense as the fundamental unit of communication on Snapchat because it marks the transition between digital media as self-expression and digital media as communication.

3. Ephemerality

Finally, Spiegel talked about why vanishing photos have more value than just being used for sexting.

Snapchat discards content to focus on the feeling that content brings to you, not the way that content looks. This is a conservative idea, the natural response to radical transparency that restores integrity and context to conversation.

Snapchat sets expectations around conversation that mirror the expectations we have when we're talking in-person.


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