In November, the instant messaging application Snapchat declared that its videos had reached six billion views each day.
What is most surprising is the quick progression that has accompanied the rise of the “little yellow ghost”, with only two billion video clips viewed daily in May 2015. The traffic has multiplied threefold in just six months, and it's a dream for advertisers. On the "Stories" section of the application, sponsored videos are available alongside the content of commercial partners or videos to commemorate particular places or events.
For those who are not familiar with Snapchat, it's a smartphone application that allows messages to be sent in the form of text, photos or videos to a list of predefined contacts. The USP? The messages “self-destruct” a few seconds after they are opened, disappearing in the titular "snap". The ephemeral nature of messages, as well as the very short duration imposed on videos, has proven to be a winning strategy.
It’s difficult to compare the number of views on Snapchat with videos on Facebook or YouTube, given the difference between the methods of calculation used, as well as the extremely different ways in which each service is utilised. One thing is certain: more than 100 million active users each day represents a goldmine for a business valued at between 10 and 20 billion dollars, and who in 2013 had the luxury of refusing buy-out offers from both Facebook and Google.
The latest updates added new filters, animations and effects such as slow motion and fast forward. Want to view the best videos a second time? For the most frustrated snapchatter, it is now possible to buy a bonus three replies a day for only 99 cents (alas only in the United States). “They’re a little pricey,” Snapchat admits, “but time is money!”