The app convinced tens of millions of people to share more photos than they ever had by stripping down conventions about how sending an MMS should work.Today, with just a fraction of Facebook’s user base, Snapchat users share more photos per day than Facebook users.
Even Snapchat’s Stories feature seems to be doing well, amassing 500 million views per day.These choices are some of the most deliberate inside Snapchat, but are broad enough in principle that you could imagine other apps picking up on them, much as they cloned Snapchat’s disappearing messages.Spiegel’s refusal to abide by conventional notions of calling, texting, or sending a photo would seem naive if Snapchat weren’t such a runaway success.To Spiegel, the reason none of his friends video call each other on a daily basis is because "calling" was born of an era where software needed to emulate real-world tools. "But," he says, "the biggest constraint of the next 100 years of computing is the idea of metaphors." Spiegel, who was once described by a colleague as monk-like, recites the line as if he’d memorized it from an ancient philosophy book. "For Snapchat, the closer we can get to ‘I want to talk to you’ — that emotion of wanting to see you and then seeing you — the better and better our product and our view of the world will be." To Spiegel, the future of communication isn’t about rethinking or upgrading phone calls as Skype, Face Time, and Hangouts have done.It’s about imagining a future that leaves the phone metaphor behind entirely. "Well, they’re the ones where we’re going back and forth and we’re both paying attention." A self-professed instant messaging addict in high school, Spiegel wanted texting to feel more conversational and less "transactional." Even with the online indicators of Whats App and the lightning-fast nature of i Message, he still felt like texting didn’t replicate how he talked with friends. "You write a letter, you put it in an envelope, you send it to a friend, and you want to know when they get it.
If your friend wants to join in, they can tap and hold on their screen to start sending video your way. Perhaps more often than you’d think, thanks to one of Snapchat’s most interesting new innovations — its typing indicator, or lack thereof.