Thank you for the response. I think there are a lot of examples beyond Snapchat — the growth of Pokemon Go which wasn’t particularly intuitive, the growth of Tinder, the usage of a new product called HouseParty (where I’m an investor) have all followed this newer paradigm. They rely heavily on mobile screens where all of the buttons and controls aren’t available on the screen at first glance, but as you touch, swipe, and learn from others you discover the new features and are able to use them.
I reject the suggestion that Snapchat grew because of sexting — there were millions of shared pictures per day even in the earliest days and kids who were using the product rolled their eyes when that was suggested. I spoke to a lot of early adopters and the eagerness of showing off how they used Snapchat was quite interesting. Now that was anecdotal and more sociological research than empirical data, but it’s a start.
I would encourage anyone in the design space to spend meaningful time with younger demographics to understand how they use their phones and share new products. It has been illuminating for me and is what I was trying to capture in my article.