April 16, 2013
150 Million Images Per Day Now Stream Across Snapchat
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Those fleeting images sent through photo start-up Snapchat are really adding up. In a panel at the D: Dive Into Mobile conferences hosted by All Things D, company founder Evan Spiegel said the service traffics roughly 150 million photos on a daily basis.
Snapchat is growing in popularity. The reported volume is three-times what the service reported four months ago.
The start-up company lets users take photos and videos, ad a caption, and send to friends via iOS and Android devices. Once received and viewed, the images disappear from the device in about ten seconds. This has encouraged some fun among friends, as well as racy images and video. The service is popular among teens and young adults. The main demographic is 13- to 25-year-olds.
A little trouble round New Year's didn't stop the service's momentum. Late last year Snapchat got in trouble when it was learned that those racy images did not necessarily disappear as promised.
While Snapchat is discussed as a sexting venue for teens and young adults, "Spiegel was questioned about the app's reputation as a service for 'sexting' and sending lurid images, but he insisted that it wasn't the primary use case of his app," VentureBeat reported.
"With 150 million images a day, it's possible some of them are like that," Spiegel said. "11 p.m. is when traffic starts slowing down. Some people are surprised and say 'I thought that's when things would just be getting started!' “¦ I don't think it's a great tool for sexting. We notify you about screenshots. It's not a great way to send inappropriate content," VentureBeat quoted Spiegel from the panel.
News that the service wasn't able to remove images as promised didn't stop a round of venture funding amounting to $13.5 million in February. The first round of funding included funds from Benchmark Capital and other investors. It was this round of funding that helped Snapchat launch the Android version of its service, after success on the iOS platform.
To gain perspective on the 150 million images Snapchat handles per day, Facebook-owned Instagram reports on its site it gets roughly 40 million photos per day. Instagram images, however, are more permanent. And public.
The social network released Poke in December to compete with Snapchat, however the Facebook property didn't gain the same traction as Snapchat. In fact, at the conference Spiegel said Facebook's Poke was "the best Christmas present ever, I think," according to GigaOm.
For Snapchat, the crucial moment for gaining momentum was adoption of the iPhone 4s, with a front-facing camera that encouraged selfies, or self-portraits and video. "Though the company existed before January 2012, the service didn't really start to take off until then," Spiegel said.