Snapchat and Instagram are two of the largest photo-based social media apps in North America, but a leaked memo detailing the Snapchat’s future plans suggests that the company has realized it has to stop chasing the number one spot and instead focus on profitability.
Snapchat has grown significantly since its humble beginnings as a way to discreetly send images.
Over the last few years, however, Snapchat has faced increased competition from Instagram and its parent company Facebook. In an effort to win back its users, Snapchat launched a redesign that flopped and was ultimately labeled as a massive misstep.
In the leaked memo, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel acknowledged how disastrous the redesign was for the company.
“The biggest mistake we made with our redesign was compromising our core product value of being the fastest way to communicate,” said Spiegel, in a memo that was reported by Cheddar.
Having learned from this failure, it appears that Spiegel’s newly plotted course aims the company’s platform at developing markets, while attracting older users, improving the app’s ‘Discover’ feature and committing to chat on the service.
Spiegel thinks that his company can beat Facebook at the communication game, since people generally use Snapchat as a way of staying connected with close friends and family.
In contrast, Facebook has grown into a digital catch-all for co-workers, classmates, estranged family members and everyone in-between.
Interestingly enough, the Spiegel suggests that Snapchat’s Discover feature is doing well. The memo claims more than 18 Discover programs reach monthly audiences of over 10 million viewers.
That being said, while Discover is doing well, it still has lots of room for improvement. The section is crowded and often packed with clickbait-type articles.
The company’s goal to attract older demographics has to do with the fact that these users generally have more revenue, according to the memo.
The challenge, however, is to convince older users that Snapchat is a communication platform instead of a social media platform, since social media is often seen as a waste of time.
Spiegel also mentioned that Snapchat is starting to look at developing markets as an area where the company can expand operations.
According to TechCrunch, the app is being overhauled to work better with low-bandwidth connections and slow-loading videos on Android.
Finally, Spiegel wants to stop building new ideas into the core Snapchat app. Instead, he wants to turn innovative ideas into new apps.
The company is currently working on an AR experience based on user-submitted geo-tagged Snaps.
Spiegel’s full memo spans 15 pages and 6,000 words. It’s available to read online at Cheddar