Snapchat — 2016 Year In Review

Snapchat was one of those platforms that first came across my radar years ago, as well as one of those platforms that I promptly dismissed. I honestly chalked it up to an app akin to Tinder or something. It had the stigma that it was for nude selfies that disappeared. At least that’s how I understood it. How it was described to me by other Snap-illiterate laymen.

Snap shares the common tech story of college co-founders, these two being of Stanford pedigree, creating the next internet phenomenon. Their names are Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, and the duo launched the app in September 2011 on the iTunes app store with the intent of providing “a place to share awkward selfies and funny photos with [their] friends.” Fast forward to the news breaking in November 2016 that Snap would be filing for IPO in early 2017. The pair has brought the technology a long way since then, and influencing the way millions of users communicate, tell stories, and take selfies.

When You Can’t Beat’em… Join’em

Snapchat reached a point where I could no longer ignore it in 2016. Family & Friends had it. New crazy filters were making news. Most importantly, the app had the numbers. Users upon users. I also got the iPhone 6s last summer, which had capabilities that my previous phone did not.

For the first couple of weeks on the app, it was not very interesting. I had maybe three or four contacts at the time, and didn’t really understand the need to have a community and enough stories to fill the feed. One night, I decided that I’d put the effort into figuring it out. This was around the same time that I was really starting to focus on Minimum Viable Media and branding. I Googled “marketers on Snapchat.” This gave me a great list to form a base of people to follow in my industry. Eventually I’d learn about Ghostcodes and Snapdex, not to mention a bunch of other great users via the popular “take overs” and basic word of mouth recommendations.

This was how I met the three power users that I decided to interview for this year end review (I know, it’s now February).

  • Mike McGrail — Owner & marketing consultant at Velocity Digital and speaker based in Scotland. (Read Mike’s thoughts)
  • Justin Wu (Hackapreneur) — Growth hacker & information architect that founded a marketing agency called (Read Justin’s thoughts)
  • Ashley Kruempel — An “accidental entrepreneur” and CEO of SoPacInc. (Read Ashley’s thoughts)

I wanted to get their prospectives and insights on some questions regarding the way that they used Snapchat in 2016. Those questions were:

  1. Who are you and how have you leveraged the Snap platform in 2016?
  2. What are your favorite/ most useful features that Snapchat offers?
  3. Do you have any thoughts on Snapchat Spectacles and their launch campaign?
  4. Who are two people (or accounts) that you recommend following and why?
  5. Are there any emerging threats you see coming for Snapchat?
  6. Any final thoughts or other ideas that you may want to speak to about Snapchat?

Originally published at