Decade Samosa: Snapchat, making socioverse vertical...

Paawan Sunam
Dec 23, 2019 07:19 IST
Snapchat history

From breaking the image of an app used for sexting till pioneering Stories and further, here is a look at Snapchat history through the decennary lens.

When Instagram had just hit five million monthly active users, a (literally) picture-perfect life was becoming a norm. But the first chapter of Snapchat history was about to change this.

Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, & Reggie Brown produced and designed the idea of a photo-messaging app where the photos shared would disappear.

Conceptualized on the idea of sharing real moments with real friends, moments and interactions that induce from spontaneity. Despite everyone thinking it was a 'terrible idea', Snapchat went from processing 25 images per second in May 2012 to 231 images per second i.e. 20 million images a day in October 2012.

Snapchat History can be credited with redefining social media communication through innovations, which were later duplicated by many. For one, making the socioverse vertical can single-handedly be attributed to this app.

Further, the app, introduced the world to overlay content, which even Zuckerberg later accepted, being a Snapchat first, that, of course, didn't stop them from copying it. This Snapchat innovation saw the world turning into cats and dogs in a quite literal sense.

Snapchat History is the one with a number of firsts - first to bring Stories, first to bing Lens, and first to probably turn Facebook down in an acquisition offer. Yes, the app had its share of ups and downs, but Snapchat that was born in this decade definitely managed to turn it around.

Even in an India specific sense, Snapchat History went from apparently calling Indians poor to creating a local Discovery feed, roping in India leadership team, and establishing first India office - all in a span of 10 years. See for yourself.


Inception: Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, & Reggie Brown produce the idea of developing a messaging app to share photos that would disappear forever in seconds in early 2011.

Snapchat first launched as Picaboo in July 2011, then rebranded after receiving a cease & desist letter from a company of the same name.


Snapchat processes about 25 images per second, in May 2012.

Snapchat Users share over 20 million Snaps every day, the platform processes over 231 photos per second, in October 2012.

Snapchat released on Android in October 2012.

Video-Sharing introduced on Snapchat for iOS users and the platform starts prototyping ads, in December 2012.


Snapchat Users grew and 60 million Snaps sent per day with users having sent 5 billion Snaps in total, in February 2013.

Lawsuit: Frank Reginald Brown IV sues the company and claims he came up with the idea of the app and the ghost logo, in February 2013.

Snapchat Users now share 150 million images each day, in April 2013.

Lawsuit: Evan Spiegel admits that Brown came up with the idea for disappearing pictures messages, in July 2013.

Snapchat Micro is released for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, in September 2013.

Snapchat Users now share about 350 million photos daily.

Snapchat Stories, the format that changed communication, later duplicated by a family of apps was introduced in October 2013.

Reports surface about Snapchat refusing a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, in November 2013.

Snapchat Users now share over 400 million snaps each day, in November 2013.

Replay introduced on the platform to allow users to rewatch one Snap per day, in December 2013. hacked into the platform and saved usernames & phone numbers for 4.6 million accounts, making their information available for download, in December 2013.


Find Friends updated with a feature letting users opt-out of linking their phone, following the hack, in January 2014.

Captcha added by the platform to improve security but hackers and security researchers find their way around it, in January 2014.

A Security Researcher found hackers can freeze a user’s phone by bombarding them with messages on Snapchat, in February 2014.

Hackers randomly sent fruit smoothie images through several accounts to their friends, in February 2014.

FTC and Snapchat reached an agreement on FTC’s complaint about the platform failing to secure its “Find Friends” feature and settled on Snapchat being under intense scrutiny for the next 20 years, in May 2014.

Chat introduced on the platform, in May 2014.

Our Story introduced to help Snapchatters at the same event location contribute Snaps to the same Story, in June 2014.

Live added to Stories for Snapchat community to share and experience all sorts of events, in August 2014.

Push Notifications introduced on Snapchat, in September 2014.

Lawsuit with Frank Reginald Brown IV settled in September 2014., a third-party app used to save Snaps hacked with hundreds and thousands of images being leaked; the app took full responsibility for the leak, in October 2014.

Ads introduced on the platform in October 2014, first placed in the Recent Updates section.

Snap Cash introduced to send and receive money, in November 2014.

Branded Content first introduced in association with Samsung and AMAs with the Sponsored tag, in November 2014.

Leaked emails between Snapchat and Sony reveal Snapchat is working on a music-integrated feature; it is in discussions with Twitter for partnerships and more, in December 2014.

Microsoft removes all third-party Snapchat apps from the Windows Store, on Snapchat’s request in December 2014.


Discover - the hub for premium content on the platform introduced in January 2015. The tab would etch the history of Snapchat as a content discovery platform.

Snapcodes introduced in January 2015.

Safety Center, that highlights tips and options for staying safe introduced in February 2015.

Snapchat Users had grown to over a hundred million monthly active users, in May 2015.

Tap & Hold ditched to encourage long-form content, in July 2015.

Travel Mode initiated to set up data saving for users wherein content is not automatically loaded, in August 2015.

Snapchat Channel shut down with employees being laid off, in October 2015.

Speed Modifiers - the filters that let you add slow-motion, fast-forward, or rewind effects introduced in October 2015.

Snapchat Users were watching 6 billion videos every day, in November 2015.

Bitstrips, the company that makes personalized emojis - Bitmojis, acquired by Snapchat in March 2016.

Chat 2.0 a combination of video, audio, stickers and more features introduced in March 2016.

Snapchat Users were now watching over 10 billion videos a day, in April 2016.

200+ Stickers rolled out on the platform in May 2016.

Memories introduced in July 2016.

Instagram duplicated Stories and Kevin Systorm openly admitted it in August 2016.

Spectacles first launched in September 2016.

Snapchat rebranded itself as Snap Inc., in September 2016.

Facebook duplicated Stories in October 2016.


Viewing time for Snaps increased to more than 10 seconds in May 2017.

Snap Map that lets you share your location and see friends’ locations in a Map launched in June 2017.

Reports surface about Google trying to acquire Snapchat for $30 Billion in August 2017.

Contextual Filters introduced in November 2017.

Lens Studio launched in December 2017.


Snapchat Redesign bashed by users in January 2018.

Snapchat Analytics for creators and influencers introduced in February 2018.

Snapchat history

Group video chat and Mentions introduced in April 2018.

Snapchat history

Snappables, a string of Lenses for sharing experiences and playing augmented reality games rolled out in April 2018.

Send and Request location that lets users share real-time locations introduced in May 2018.

Snapchat introduced a feature letting you delete unopened messages, in June 2018.

Personalized and location-specific bitmojis that show the weather and world effects =introduced in June 2018.

In June 2018, Snapchat announced that it would be sharing ad revenues with content creators.

Serena Williams Lens that let users play an AR-based Tennis game against her Bitmoji character rolled out in July 2018.

Lens Explorer, where Community Lenses became discoverable alongside the main Lens Carousel, launched in July 2018.

New speech recognition filters introduced in August 2018.

Snapchat Users declined by two percent with the count falling to188 million DAU but sees growth in the business front, in August 2018.

Shoppable AR Filters first made available to celebrities including Nicki Minaj and more, in August 2018.

Snapchat history

Visual Search in collaboration with Amazon launched in September 2018.

Snapchat history

Snap Originals the vertical short-format video series rolled out in October 2018.

Cat Lenses rolled out in October 2018.

Snap Camera, a free desktop app to use lenses while using computer launched in October 2018.

Ex-Twitter India exec Raheel Khursheed joins Snapchat as Country Expert, India, in October 2018.

Friendship Profiles rolled out in November 2018.

Lens Creative Partners program comprising creators, agencies and more for building AR Lenses for brands launched in November 2018.

Localised Discover that explores local content in India was launched in November 2018.

Solutions in a Snap, a video-series where users can see experts give insights on steering businesses on the platform rolled out in December 2018.

Location-based feature, letting advertisers custom-build target audience launched in December 2018.

Lens Challenges introduced in December 2018.

Year-End Story that features some of your best Snaps stored in Memories, rolled out in December 2018.

Dog Lenses launched in December 2018.

Snapchat introduced end to end encryption for Snaps shared, in January 2019.

Lego launched a limited edition adult clothing line available only on Snapchat in February 2019.

Explore updated with new advertising tools and insights in March 2019.

Snapchat teamed up with Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders for an IPL season, in March 2019.

Snapchat localized into 4 Indian languages – Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi, in April 2019.

A new UI for Snap Map and a passport which helps you keep a track of all the places you’ve been was being tested in April 2019.

The first-ever Snap Partner Summit held in April 2019 with announcements of features to help solve math problems and turn monumental places to hilarious sights.

The Android app revamped and launched in April 2019. The app gained positive reviews and reportedly increased userbase.

Polling Information & creative tools for Indian voters launched in April 2019.

Because Of You, first-ever social impact Lens Challenge launched in April 2019.

JioSaavn & Snapchat announced a content integration partnership, in May 2019.

In-App options to shop from influencers launched in June 2019, first available to Kylie Jenner and four more accounts.

The platform tests a dedicated tab for Snap Originals, in July 2019.

Snapchat Users grow to 203 million DAUs, in July 2019.

Real Friends - Snapchat's first global campaign rolled out in July 2019.

Instant Create for advertisers launched in August 2019 to let them create ads in three steps.

Opt-In ads added to Snap Games in August 2019.

Snap Inc opens first office in India, in August 2019.

3D Snaps launched in September 2019.

Long-format ads up to three minutes long introduced in September 2019.

Dynamic Ads launched in October 2019.

Snapchat announces Daily Active Users increasing 13% year-over-year to 210 million with an increase in revenue, in November 2019.

Mix and Match option for Bitmoji launched in November 2019.

Snapchat Cameos that lets you edit your face into short, looping video templates launched in December 2019.

Snapchat history

The history of Snapchat ends here for the decade with the platform having big plans for the future.

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