Snapchat is a mobile app which was founded by students of University of Stanford in 2011.
Today after just three years since its launch, the app is found in mobiles in almost all the
teens and young adults. The company has tasted tremendous success. Today it boasts of
millions of users. It was also found at 70% of the app users are women. Everyday millions
of snaps are shared through Snapchat. The app has a very user friendly interface and is
absolutely free. The app makers also promise a safe and secure environment for their users
to share and communicate with their loved ones. The app offers are very direct way of
communication, just like it is meant to be. One of the main reasons for the success and
popularity of this app is the self- destructing nature of the contents.
A user can send a photo or a video to his friends and can allot a time frame of 1- 10 seconds
within which the content disappears from the recipient’s device. This feature is unique and
soon people realised that they can share almost anything with others without having the fear
of any repercussions as the content would disappear in a jiffy. This is why perhaps we have
so many young users of this app. In fact, the contents were verified to be mostly inappropriate
when Snapchat servers were leaked.
The ephemeral nature of the content was the brain child of the ousted founder of Snapchat
named Reggie Brown. Like Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegal, he too was a student of
Stanford in California. Brown claims that the self- destructing nature of the contents was his
idea and that he proposed to introduce the feature in the app.
Just like the lawsuit happened with Facebook, the founders of Snapchat too had to undergo a
complex lawsuit filed by Brown. He claimed 1/3 stake in the company. The lawsuit was filed
in February 2013 and dragged on for a year. Finally the lawsuit was settled but the terms of
settlement is undisclosed. The issue was settled on mutually agreeable terms. Brown claimed
that he was harshly pushed out of the company. On the other side, both Bobby Murphy and
Evan Spiegel claimed in their testimony that Reggie Brown was not a part of the company
which has a valuation of worth $ 10 Billion. The lawsuit became so famous that it quickly
received comparisons with the Facebook lawsuit. Incidentally Sanapchat did receive a
lucrative $3 billion takeover bid from Facebook.
Apart from contesting the lawsuit, the app makes also had to face the wrath of the hackers.
It was found out that the picture and contents shared through the app actually remained
somewhere in their servers. Weak security allowed hackers to post millions of snaps- most
of which were inappropriate. A second wave of hack happened, this time the target was
information of the users like their passwords and contact details. The founders have faced
each challenge front on. They have decided to stick with their creation and take it to the next
level. With such leaders, Snapchat will touch the stratosphere soon.