Maybe this is the millennial in me talking, but this feels like such a weird way to frame what Snapchat is fundamentally — it’s not a social network, it’s a messaging app.
We don’t want permanence. We don’t want profiles. We don’t want followers. We don’t want to save things to the camera roll by default in the same way that it would be insane to save every text message ever sent as a memo in our memo app. They’re messages, not photos. They are as objects as temporary as Snapchat rightly treats them.
Snapchat is a way for us to talk to each other in a way that’s more clever than old school threaded messaging methods: the ability to make a message and send it to friend A, B and C at once is great — maybe B and C will reply and we start chatting. Maybe I make another response and it’s applicable to B and now D, which starts it own conversation.
This is fundamentally unlike any other messaging app that exists.
Snapchat is a communication shotgun.
Instagram’s stories might have the 24 hour thing, but it’s not a messaging app, it’s an instagram photo that disappears; you can use it for those less-than-perfect shots of your day to day life. Great. Facebook might be pushing messenger hard (and now you can use it without FB proper which is nice, because who’s even on FB anymore?) but it’s still just a threaded MSN rehash (and all my friends are on Slack now anyway because it’s one giant group chat).
I can’t speak to the finances or its longevity, but I will say it’s an awfully unique thing to exist right now.