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Inside Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel's Entertainment Empire

Inside Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel s Entertainment Empire Fast Company Business Innovation


If you still think Snapchat, a company valued at $16 billion, is just a teen sexting app, you’re not listening to the kids, bro. In a mere 15 months since its first Live Story, Snapchat has transformed itself from a photo-based messaging app into the singular obsession of the media and advertising industries. "We have two major businesses," says Snapchat’s chief strategy officer Imran Khan. "One is communication, and the other is entertainment." Communication—a string of messaging products including photo and video sharing, voice calling, and texting features, as well as a tool to exchange money on the service—will, in the near term at least, be monetized through 99¢ snap replays and branded photo filters.

What has everyone atwitter about Snapchat, though, is its entertainment ambitions—the company’s attempt to build both a distribution channel and a content lineup for 13- to 34-year-olds, who make up 86% of Snapchat’s U.S. users. Think Comcast for kids.

Stashed in: Young Americans, Snapchat, Snapchat

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This is not an easy endeavor. 

Entertainment can turn against a company quickly. Consider MySpace. 

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