Is Snapchat ready for IPO?

In the evolution of the digital story of how social media feels more like SMS with video and how storytelling has changed the narrative of content into a more personal affair, Snapchat may be gearing up to go public.

A Premium for Storytelling

This GenZ channel has been taking steps to demonstrate to advertisers it can prove ROI, to better spotlight, be flexible and measure how marketing budgets could best be invested towards grabbing some engagement from Snapchat’s 150 million daily users. #BigIdeas

In an industry where growth and active users is considered the end-and-be-all, Snapchat is not doing too badly and scaling well and maintaining itself as one of the leading video content channels that is leading the pack in social media engagement in terms of video snippets and UGC video content.

Facebook reportedly offered $3 Billion to acquire Snapchat in late 2013, which was refused. Snapchat has a brand appeal and intrigue that even in 2016 feels relevant and contemporary.

In a recently eMarketer study, 22% of senior advertising executives surveyed planned to advertise on the $20 billion-valued social photo and video sharing app Snapchat in 2016

No Longer too Cool for Profit

The five year old platform desperately wants to strike the right balance between being cool to young people and seen as legitimate and profitable to advertisers. This fine line of pleasing end-users while showing the ROI of its user-base is game many networks in recent history have failed to do.

Snapchat is showing maturity in 2016, and has a good case for being the most engaging social-media app among teens. With its recent launch of Snapchat Partners, a highly anticipated A.P.I., it’s an open-secret that Snapchat will soon go public.

The massive expansion of its advertising business means third parties selling ads for the first time could mean a commercial breakthrough. The CSO (chief strategy officer), Imran Khan, appointment in 2014 was highly implicated in Alibaba’s successful and recording breaking IPO, so this has been in the works for some time. Whether Snapchat goes IPO in 2016 or in 2017 remains to be seen, but many in the industry feel it’s inevitably soon.

Snapchat is for Real Bro

Snapchat achieved $59 million in revenue in 2015, though it projects its revenue in 2017 to be somewhere between $500 million and $1billion. Sponsored lenses, introduced in 2015, can reportedly cost advertisers as much as $750,000 per day, while it’s ads cost in the ballpark of $250,000, and the opportunity to take over publishers’ channels on Snapchat Discover for $50,000.

Snapchat is that unique brand of product smarts that is monetizable and best leverages video’s arrival as the most immediate and interactive form of content and user-generated communication.

The arrival of a more reliable revenue model in place prior to IPO shows its superior (Millennial) management to less fortunate channels such as Twitter, that may get acquired soon after news that LinkedIn got acquired by Microsoft earlier this week.

This Yellow Submarine can Fundraise

Snapchat is the yellow social media app that could, with a recent funding round of $1.8 billion, that put its post-money valuation at anywhere from flat ($16 billion) to $20 billion. Is Facebook sorry much? With a likely social media tech bubble burst in process, Snapchat is rising above the pack in its own peculiar way.

From May 2015 to May 2016, Snapchat’s daily video views have grown 400% over the course of the year (from 2 billion to 10 billion, according to Bloomberg). At a linear monthly growth rate of 33%, Snapchat will surpass 18 billion daily video views by May 2017.

With even Facebook at risk of further losing its identity with a marked decrease in personal sharing that’s been widely publicized, it’s clear people don’t want to do personal stuff on a News network and are moving to more intimate spaces. Snapchat has leveraged itself as that and more, with memes as colorful and coded with giffs & Fx as anywhere in cyberspace.

Snapchat Does Video Better than Facebook

There’s an argument Snapchat knows how to do video better, and certainly that’s more interactive, more in line with the authenticity, storytelling and interactivity that syncs with Millennial & iGen values.

Snapchat now boasts over 10 billion videos views per day, according to Bloomberg, surpassing rival Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views (Fortune).
  • 18% of all social media US users use Snapchat.
  • 60% of its daily users are content creators!
  • 30% of Millennials access Snapchat on a regular basis.
  • There are now 9,000 snaps a second, with 10 Billion daily views.
  • 35% of its users use it because the content disappears.
  • 70% of Snapchat users are Millennials.

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When do you think Snapchat will go IPO? Do you think ads have legit ROI there in an age of mobile ad-blockers?