1.  Other image-based communication apps allow for more lasting images to be hosted; by forcing the images to be ephemeral, the Snapchat app fosters a communication style that is looser, less encumbered by the fear of perpetual viewing. Images that are sillier, grosser, or more sexual than what a person would typically be comfortable messaging can be sent to recipients using Snapchat with less caution.

2.  Snapchat can be used as a proxy for texting by users who enjoy the increased communication personalization afforded them by the many visual features of Snapchat, like lenses and “face texting”.  These new communication dimensions allow conversations to feel more personal and emotional than flat text.

3. Unlike other visual social media platforms, Snapchat removes the pressure of public approval. Users have a greater deal of control over their audience, posted content is ephemeral, and content is posted merely for fun instead of seeking “likes” or to craft a digital persona for the world to see.

4. Snapchat’s users are dominantly females aged 18-24. Having such a focused audience gives ample incentive for advertisers seeking to target that specific demographic. This gives Snapchat an edge over competitors as they can attract more advertising revenue when advertisers seek to reach this narrow audience.


1.  Despite many attempts to develop Snapchat into a more rounded, robust social media platform, users continue to use it solely as a messaging platform. Features that cost a great sum of money to develop and implement, are left ignored and unused by most users. This leads to a loss of profits and makes it difficult for Snapchat to compete with more complete social media platforms.

2. Snapchat’s controversial 2018 redesign has proven to be overwhelmingly unpopular, leading to a heavy loss of users and less ad revenue. Even though there have been subsequent redesigns since, being “too complicated” is still a common complaint of Snapchat’s UI. 

3. The organic reach of Snapchat marketing is extremely limited. The only way to land on a user’s Discover page is by purchasing ads. There is also no “recommended accounts” feature that takes brands into account. Instead, advertisers must get Snapchat followers by promoting elsewhere.

4. Snapchat attempted to expand their brand into the realm of cameras with a line of “camera sunglasses”. The attempt resulted in a nearly $40 million loss and muddied the company’s brand identity. Being associated with such a large failure may also leave advertisers hesitant to invest heavily in Snapchat’s core platform.


1.  Thanks to advancements in predictive analytics and machine learning, social media platforms can now algorithmically predict behaviors and classify users into their respective audiences, based on recorded user actions and other collected data. This will give social media platforms a great deal of leverage with advertisers looking to target those audiences.

2. The number of smartphone users worldwide surpasses 3 billion and is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years. An increase in mobile device ownership creates more potential social media app users.  

3. Advancements in smartphone camera technology, like AI-assisted image stabilization, subject tracking automation, computational photography, higher megapixels, and better image processing will give users the ability to take increasingly attractive photographs using their mobile device. This could lead to a greater adoption of image-based messaging platforms.

4. Augmented Reality is primarily experienced via a wearable device that overlays digital content on top of the real world, thus enabling a new information-delivery paradigm. While isolated applications of AR have been around for decades, several companies are currently developing new technologies in hopes of popularizing these devices. Social media platforms could leverage these new AR technologies to achieve a higher degree of interaction with users.


1.  Certain legal protections currently afforded social media platforms by the Section 230 amendment of the Communications Decency Act are currently being targeted by some lawmakers and could soon be rewritten or revoked. Proposed changes would result in social media platforms being held legally responsible for user-posted content and for how they choose to moderate that content.

2.  34% of “Gen Z” (people born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s) say that they are permanently quitting social media, and 64% are taking a break, according to research from the Origin research group. According to their findings, a large portion of Gen Z have come to believe that time spent on social media platforms leads to higher anxiety and depression.

3. Most social media users are posting personal content rather than interacting with brands. Only about a quarter of users like or follow brands, fewer visit brands’ social sites. While this type of activity benefits users, it does little to incentivize brands to create social media content, which threatens ad revenue for social media platforms.

4. Using AI to create “deepfakes” is increasingly becoming a cyber security concern, as recent technological developments have made it possible for users to create entirely fictional avatars, complete with AI generated images, videos, and voices that are difficult to discern from reality. This makes it easier to deceive users online by interacting with users while hiding behind the guise of a digital avatar. This threat will erode trust in visual image platforms and make users less likely to communicate on them.