When People Live Their Lives Online, the Concept of Sharing Changes, Says Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel (Video)
In yesterday’s world, we went about our offline lives and selected pictures of moments we wanted to share that projected how we wanted other people to perceive us — the pretty sunsets, the contorted angles to make us look skinny, the smiling family posed for a group portrait.
In tomorrow’s world, we’ll already be living online all the time, so the notion of “sharing” may change. And you can already see that future on Snapchat, the mobile app where millions of young people send disappearing images, taken in the moment and then deleted within 10 seconds of being viewed.
“We think it captures a broader use case,” said Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, contrasting Snapchat with Facebook and Instagram in an interview at D: Dive Into Mobile. “It’s less about ‘I’m cool, I look really good,’ and it’s a lot more about communicating where you are, what you’re doing, how you feel. It’s more about chatting and messaging than putting yourself on display.”
Wait, what? Is he arguing that this weird niche-y notion of impermanent photos is actually a bigger opportunity than regular photos? He is. Broadly speaking: Communicating with photos is potentially a bigger market than scrapbooking.
Spiegel pointed to daily upload numbers that show that Snapchat is already bigger than Instagram, at least by one metric: Users upload 150 million Snaps per day, versus 40 million daily photos on Instagram.
Said Spiegel, “I think there’s definitely a place for permanence; we’re not anti-permanence by any means. We just believe ephemeral should be the default.”
Here’s the full video of the interview with Spiegel, in which he also discusses norms for teenagers in social media, potential Snapchat business models (a.k.a. ads) and the virtues of running a startup from Los Angeles: