Is Snapchat an Ephemeral Phenomenon?

In today’s world where virtually anything and almost everything is recorded and traceable, privacy has become a huge concern for all of us. We are unwittingly leaving traces of our actions with every move we make. Therefore, it is not surprising that self-destructing programs and ephemeral messaging are becoming increasingly popular.

Snapchat, an app that self-destructs photo and video exchanges, has been making headlines over the value of the company. It was reported that Snapchat turned down Facebook’s offer of acquisition for $3 billion in cash. Other tech giants are in the mix, as it is rumored that Google and Tencent are now also making independent offers to acquire the startup around $4 billion.

Can a two-year-old company that has no revenue be worth $3-4 billion?

Here are some statistics that show how huge Snapchat is:

  • 400 million “snaps” exchanged every day (up from 350 million in September and 200 million in June)
  • This number of exchanges accounts for almost the same market share as Facebook’s and Instagram’s combined
  • 1 in 4 iPhone users have Snapchat
  • 8th most popular app on the iPhone

The reason Snapchat is huge, and ephemeral messaging will continue to grow, is that the chances of landing in hot water over exchanges on these platforms is much lower. For instance, tweets posted on Twitter and thereafter deleted, are easily recovered by the average person. Facebook also recently admitted to “a decrease in daily users, specifically among teens.” This could be attributed to the fact that their parents are now able to find them and their activity on Facebook, leading the young teens to venture off to Snapchat, where the records of their activities are transient.

Here’s a tweet that explains why the younger generation is making the switch from Facebook and Twitter to Snapchat :

Sources and experts reveal that Snapchat will continue to grow in the near future. This means that not only will the likelihood of greater bids grow but also the number of self-destructing platforms. We will explore this market phenomenon and the potential impact on eDiscovery in our next blog post.