Is the Age of Snapchat Finally Over?

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A staple of many people’s social media arsenal, Snapchat is struggling to continue to keep up with changing trends in our everyday use. Nowadays, the main use of Snapchat has been emulated by bigger social media apps, including Instagram and Facebook. Instagram introduced their “Story” feature in 2016, and it has since grown to include many new features that put it on par with Snapchat. Facebook is also entering the foray, with their stories becoming more utilized with its billion plus users. Snapchat has since been forced to innovate with their product in order to compete with these newcomers, but it’s been reported that Snapchat users are steadily falling, and the company seems to be taking countless losses.

The company recently launched a redesign of the app, which was judged by countless users as being a complete and total flop. Many users complained about the way notifications were handled in the update, as well as the functionality of using it, which proved to be much less intuitive than it was before. This was all bad news for Snap, Inc, the parent company behind Snapchat, as executives hoped for it to reignite interest.

Progress of the app fell flat though, with their revenue falling 12% short of the forecasts that hoped for a turn out of the fifth consecutive quarter of decline. Early 2017, Snapchat introduced their Snap Spectacles, which allowed users to capture their Snapchats from a pair of fashionable sunglasses. The product was considerably hyped, and Snapchat ordered hundreds of thousands of pairs from their manufacturers. In reality, only 0.08% of their users went out and purchased a pair. The failure of the video-recording glasses came out to being a $40 million failure, with the majority of the stock sitting in Chinese warehouses without any hope of selling them.

CEO Evan Spiegel admitted the company had gotten carried away, saying “We were very excited about Spectacles and by the initial reception, and because we were so excited I guess we have made the wrong decision.”

This hemorrhaging of money has proved difficult for Snapchat, as their main source of revenue includes advertisers. They have been ceasing using its services, as the minimum views they are promised by Snapchat are not being reached, so they are leaving to competitors, who are proving to be more lucrative.

Younger users are who Snapchat appeals most to, but with Instagram stories, many younger users are using Instagram as their jack-of-all trades social media app. With a powerful photo sharing system, there is little value in using both apps for people’s social media. Snapchat has tired its best to appeal to these users with updated filters and a stronger social network with its map feature, but the number of new users dwindles with each passing month. Snapchat has little appeal with older social media users, which it more difficult for the company to attract more users.

In 2018, I predict we will see Snapchat be tested to its limits, with Instagram being their biggest competition. Time will tell if Snapchat can once again regain its relevance.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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