Success Crafted

The Snapchat Business Model: Strengths Weaknesses and Opportunities

Are you one of the millions of people who use Snapchat every day? Whether you’re a die-hard user or still trying to figure out how to navigate the app, you might be wondering how Snapchat actually works and makes money.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the Snapchat business model and explore the app’s strengths. Unique Feature: Vanishing Content

The very first thing that comes to mind when discussing Snapchat is undoubtedly its unique feature of vanishing content.

Snapchat is primarily known for its temporary content, which is a significant differentiator in the social media industry. Content on Snapchat disappears after a set period, ranging from a few seconds to twenty-four hours.

This feature was first introduced in 2011, at the app’s launch, and was intended to promote privacy on the platform. By introducing the functionality that automatically deletes any content shared on the platform, Snapchat made it clear that its app is primarily designed for sharing in the moment snippets of life, rather than building a permanent archive or a social profile.

Brief History of Snapchat

Snapchat was launched in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown – three Stanford University students. The early versions of the app were initially called Pictaboo and were initially launched for iOS only; by 2012, the app became available on Android.

Later in 2012, Snapchat introduced new features such as filters, lenses, and stickers, which would become staples of the platform’s popularity.

Ownership and Mission Statement

Snapchat is owned by Snap Inc., a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Evan Spiegel currently serves as CEO, while Bobby Murphy is the CTO.

Reggie Brown left the company before the launch of the app. Snapchat’s mission statement is “to contribute to the human experience and create lasting memories through authentic communication.”

Revenue Streams and Customer Segments

Snapchat earns its revenue chiefly from advertising. Advertisers buy ads on the platform to reach Snapchat’s user base, which is made up of primarily younger audiences.

Snapchat has several customer segments, including users who create content, advertisers who seek to place their content in front of young people, and app developers who want to partner with Snapchat.

Value Propositions and Channels

Snapchat’s value proposition is centered around communication, creativity, and reaching younger audiences. It is an app designed for the digital generation to share real life, one snap at a time.

The platform’s channels include its widely popular Snapchat Discover, which is a section of the app dedicated to offering news articles, multimedia stories, and original content from publishers.

Customer Relationships and Key Resources

Snapchat’s success is based on its customer relationships built on the platform’s user experience and content. The app’s content is user-generated, and creativity is encouraged through the various filters and lenses it offers.

Snapchat’s team is also a vital resource, including its engineers, advertising executives, and content creators, who work around the clock to improve the app’s functionality and user experience.

Key Activities and Key Partners

Snapchat’s key activities center around user engagement and content creation. The app’s most popular and distinctive feature is the ability to create temporary content that disappears after a set period.

Snapchat’s key partners include advertisers who want to reach young audiences, app developers who want to integrate the app with their own services, and publishers who contribute to the platform’s original content on Discover.

Cost Structure and Competitors

Snapchat’s cost structure is primarily focused on research and development, technology infrastructure, and marketing. The app’s competitors, including Instagram and TikTok, present stiff competition.

Snapchat’s Strengths

Snapchat’s user-friendly interface, along with its many filters, effects, and the option to create custom filters, makes it a creative force to be reckoned with. The app’s innovation is continuously evolving, as evidenced by the recent addition of features such as Spotlight and Lens Studio.

Best of all it’s free. Snapchat has no subscription fees, instead relying on advertising as its primary source of revenue.

This aspect of the app attracts younger users who may not have the disposable income to pay subscription fees.


After exploring all aspects of the Snapchat business model and examining the app’s strengths, it’s clear that Snapchat is set to remain a formidable player in the social media industry. Whether you’re a devoted user or are just starting to dip your toes into Snapchat, its unique features, user-friendly interface, and creative freedom make it worthy of attention.

Snapchat has come a long way since its inception, becoming one of the leading social media platforms in the world. However, like every other business, Snapchat has its weaknesses.

In this section, well discuss these weaknesses in detail.

Limited Features

One of Snapchat’s main weaknesses is its limited features compared to its competitors, namely TikTok and Instagram. Snapchats user engagement has declined due to the short-form video app, TikTok, which has supplanted Snapchat as the app of choice for younger users.

TikTok offers a more robust suite of functionalities, such as sound and music content, and other features that Snapchat does not have. Instagram’s Reels feature has also affected Snapchat’s user base, as Instagram has amassed a larger user base to draw from.

Instagram’s Reels feature offers similar video content to TikTok and focused specifically on short, uninterrupted clips that have become popular. Reels’ success on Instagram provides another platform that offers similar features to Snapchat, and that more people use, which may decrease Snapchat’s user engagement even more.

Most of The Same

Another weakness of Snapchat is its lack of innovation in recent years. Although the app has released new features like Spotlight and Lens Studio, they don’t match up to the game-changing features of Instagram and TikTok.

In terms of filters and effects, Instagram and TikTok offer a significant equal experience as Snap. Some additional features, such as Instagram’s augmented reality filters, are exclusive to the platform and have become popular with young users, drawing them away from Snap.

Snapchat has also restricted access to its features for users who do not have the latest version of the app, which may hurt the app’s ability to attract new users or keep existing users engaged. Snapchat’s Opportunities

Despite these weaknesses, there are several opportunities that Snapchat could capitalize on to maintain and expand its user base.

Personal Marketing for Content Creators

Snapchat can provide monetization opportunities for content creators, including influencers, to produce and promote their content on the platform. By providing the opportunity for creators to sell their content, Snapchat could improve its user experience while also remaining competitive with other social media platforms.

Further Enhancements

Snapchat has an opportunity to further enhance its platform by adapting to the latest competitor features and introducing new functionalities, which could incentivize users to return to the app. For instance, Snap could emulate features popularized by music apps such as Spotify and Soundcloud and make it even more engaging for young users.

By providing new functionalities and enhancing current ones, Snapchat could rejuvenate its user base and attract new users with unique features.

Snapchat Premium

Snapchat Premium is a subscription-based service where users could unlock extra features for a monthly fee or charge other users for exclusive and custom content. While it’s unclear what exactly features and content creators it would include, the subscription would be an attractive monetization option that would lure content creators to the platform while giving loyal users exclusive access to premium content.

This would separate Snapchat from other social media platforms while providing users with unique content and a new level of user experience.


Snapchat’s weaknesses are undeniable, but the app still has opportunities to improve its competitiveness and build its user base. Personal marketing opportunities, further innovation, introduction of new functionalities, and

Snapchat Premium are among ways that Snapchat could enhance its platform, engage its users, and beat the competition.

As the social media industry evolves, Snapchat must continually innovate and adapt to current trends in the industry to stay relevant. Snapchat has become an integral part of the social media landscape.

However, like any business, Snapchat is prone to threats that could negatively impact its growth potential in the future. In this section, well discuss some of the potential threats that could pose a challenge to Snapchat.

Generic Features

One of Snapchat’s most significant threats is the replacement potential caused by other similar apps. Snapchat isn’t the only social media platform that offers the ability to share photos and videos with others.

Instagram and TikTok, for example, have many similar features that can compete with Snapchat. While Snapchat was the pioneer of vanishing content, other apps have replicated the feature of easily sharing temporary content to steal market share.

Inappropriate Content

Another issue Snapchat faces is the distribution of inappropriate content, which could inhibit growth potential and user engagement. While content filters and blockers purportedly prevent children and teens from accessing explicit content, minors sometimes find ways to skirt the filters, allowing harmful content to circulate on the platform.

Ensuring that minors and teens are not exposed to suggestive or explicit content on Snapchat is essential to maintain its image as a safe and trustworthy platform. Snapchat needs to continue improving its screening practices to address this problem.


Increased competition, both direct (Instagram and TikTok) and indirect (Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants), poses a threat to Snapchat’s market share. Although Snapchat has loyal and engaged users, competitor platforms have replicated and built upon Snapchats functionalities to lure users away from the app.

Decreased Access

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has made it difficult for users/countries without the latest app versions to access everything that their platform has to offer. Several countries have enforced regulations and bans on Snapchat, prohibiting the app’s installation and usage altogether.

Inability to utilize Snapchat fully could damage its reputation and user base due to decreased access to features.

Snapchat’s Response to Threats

Snapchat’s response to these threats has been proactive.

The app has introduced new features and functionalities to retain users and attract new ones. Snapchat is also actively and continuously monitoring content in an effort to prevent the distribution of inappropriate content on its platform.

By establishing an advertising code of conduct, Snapchat has placed limitations on advertisements to ensure that younger audiences are not exposed to inappropriate material. Snapchat has also strengthened its competitor response by continuously enhancing its existing features, such as Snap Maps and adding new features such as Spotlight, which offers a platform for users to share content beyond their Snapchat friends and followers.

Moreover, Snap has also invested in augmented reality, developing technology that will appeal to younger audiences and stay ahead of the competition. Lastly, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has revived and reintroduced a subscription-based feature called

Snapchat Premium to offer additional functionalities and exclusive content to users for a negligible monthly fee.


Snapchat has indeed carved out a unique space for itself in the social media universe. With millions of loyal and engaged users, Snapchat offers them a platform to share their stories and connect with their friends and followers in an innovative way.

Although Snapchat faces threats from increased competition, generic features, inappropriate content, and decreased access, its proactive response to these threats shows that the app is determined to stay relevant and grow its user base. By continuously innovating and enhancing its features, monitoring content on its platform, introducing new functionalities, Snap continues to demonstrate its commitment to offering a safe and exciting user experience.

In conclusion, Snapchat’s unique business model, with its vanishing content and emphasis on privacy, has propelled it to the forefront of social media platforms. However, the app faces significant weaknesses and threats, including limited features, competition, and the distribution of inappropriate content.

Nonetheless, Snapchat has opportunities to explore personal marketing for content creators, further enhance its platform, and introduce a premium subscription option. By addressing these challenges head-on and leveraging its strengths in user-friendly interface, creativity, and being free for users, Snapchat can navigate the social media landscape and continue to attract and engage its younger audience.

As the industry continues to evolve, Snapchat must remain dynamic and innovative to retain its place as a leading platform in the digital world.

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