Navigating the social media landscape can be difficult. It seems like every week and even every day, there is news about a new avenue for digital communication. Currently, the news and social media feeds have been filled with information and opinions on Snapchat’s new update. There’s a lot of debate about what the update is going to do to the future of the application. While that’s the current conversation, let’s take a look at how Snap Inc. got to where it is today.

Snapchat is an application by Snap Inc. for smartphone users that allows photos and videos to be shared with an audience. The company describes itself as a “camera company.” Its website states “We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”

According to Tech Crunch, the application originated as Pictaboo and was launched in 2011. By spring of 2012, the application was called Snapchat and had 100,000 users. The company has certainly grown since then. Omnicore reported that as of February 2018, there are 187 million daily active users. That’s not the only statistic that is shocking; Omnicore has information about everything from income to how users open the application over 18 times a day.

So, that’s a brief history about the company. But, why should advertising professionals know this social media company? In November of 2017, Snap Inc. released a video outlining the new changes that would be coming to the application. This update would separate personal contacts from those of celebrities, brands and companies. It would also begin showing content from brands, media companies and celebrities that the account holder didn’t already follow. This means that all these users would be able to see information and product placements that didn’t previously exist. It opened the company up to new advertising opportunities.

Many users haven’t had positive reaction to the update. One petition to undo the update gained more than a million signatures. CNN reported that a Snap spokesperson told them: “Updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in.”

Time will tell if users end up liking the changes. But, for creators using the app as an income source, the update looks profitable. An article by Tech Crunch reported that Snap has also updated its analytics reporting. The features allow creators to have detailed reports of who is interacting with their content and how. This is a feature very common for digital advertising.

These are only a few of the changes that Snap Inc. is bringing to its platform. These updates and features show that Snap Inc. is serious about advancing its advertising and marketing. Many questions can be raised with these types of major renovations. How is this going to change its user base? Is it going to influence other social media and advertising outlets to follow suit?

It’s interesting to see the ways that companies continue to innovate advertising opportunities. While Missouri Press Service isn’t involved in the same advertising avenue as Snap Inc., we think it’s important to be knowledgeable about industry news such as this.