Speaking at the All Things D: Dive into Mobile conference in New York City today, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel revealed that the popular photo-sharing app is much more popular than anyone may have imagined.
Specifically, Spiegel noted that Snapchat users send over 150 million photos through the service every single day. That figure was 50 million back in December 2012, indicating that Snapchat has enjoyed tremendous growth in a relatively short amount of time.
In case you're unfamiliar with Snapchat, it's a photo-sharing service that lets users send photos back and forth sort of like MMS. The rub is that photos sent via Snapchat delete themselves 10 seconds after being delivered. Though the average Snapchat user may be too young to remember (the core users are between 13 and 25 years old), it comically harks back to the self-destructing messages in the 1980's cartoon Inspector Gadget.
To put the 150 million figure into context, Instagram sees about 40 million photos taken every day. Of course, Facebook, threatened by the rapid rise in popularity of Instagram, purchased the company outright for $1 billion in April of last year. And while it's highly unlikely Facebook will be purchasing Snapchat, it has tried to emulate it. Facebook last December released Facebook Poke, a mobile app which allows users to send photos and videos and choose how long they want the recipient to be able to access it. Needless to say, Facebook Poke never caught on and hasn't done much to stop the wildly impressive growth of Snapchat.
Now if you haven't used Snapchat, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, iOS users can easily take a snapshot of the screen in order to save any photo before it self-destructs, right? Well, yes. To that end, Snapchat has incorporated functionality wherein a user will be alerted when a photo recipient takes a screenshot. That, of course, won't do anything to delete the photo in question, but purports to be an effective deterrent against users trying to save photos meant to disappear into the ether.
Lastly, Spiegel noted that the app currently boasts more users on iOS than on Android.
If you're intrigued, you can check out the app over here on iTunes.