Another little piece I wrote for work this week. You can have a look at the original, or an excerpt quoted below.
Karl Lagerfeld is probably very upset.
The German fashion designer once stated, “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever; impossible to reproduce.”
Well, Snapchat, as we all know, captures a moment for a moment (or ten), and then both are gone forever. In the process, the Android and iOS app has turned the very meaning of photography on its head: taking photographs for the purpose of posterity and remembrance, and instead using them to convey a fleeting, momentary message.
And what’s most startling, quite possibly, is that we didn’t notice how one of the multimedia staples of the last two hundred years has been completely changed in less than two.
In less than two years, and despite having only five staff, Snapchat has gone from initial release to being valued at a staggering $860M and has received significant investment in 2013. Despite the vast majority of its user base being located in the United States, it has infiltrated the lexicon of Great Britain, and seems to have overcome initial fears that it would be used solely for untoward purposes.
But the undeniable and exciting success of Snapchat has hidden another story: what does this new method of communication hold for the future? The ability to get a user to examine every detail of a picture in less than ten seconds, and commit it to memory long enough to draft a reply, is something out of an advertiser’s dream. And whilst Snapchatremains ad-free, for now, one has to question from where the inevitable monetization of the app will come.