December 22, 2016 – Evan Spiegel is one of few billionaires under the age of 30 thanks to a small app he and his friends created when they were in College/University. It all started when Spiegel and his friend Reggie Brown sat down to create a new app as a project that Spiegel could use in one of his classes. The idea at first was to build a selfies app and introduce a Self-Deleting or auto-deleting-image feature. The idea was to make images short-lived so that users can continue to take fresh ones. It was called Picaboo, later it became Snapchat. The Snapchat we use today is very different then the first prototype, which Reggie Brown made. After its official launch in September, 2011, the app quickly gained popularity. Within a year, its user base was in millions!
Snapchat is an app, but now the company is also producing hardware products. Their first product is called Spectacles. These are smartglasses capable of taking pictures. This product seems to be doing good business unlike Google Glasses. Snap Inc. is manufacturing these Spectacles in China, but ironically, Snapchat is banned in this country. :) China has banned not only Snapchat, but also other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Despite being banned in China, Snap Inc. announced that they have opened a new technology office in Shenzhen, China. This development first came into light when people saw employment/job offers from Snap Inc. They are looking to hire people who have experience in working with other tech companies like Alibaba. Job posting by Snap Inc. looks very interesting; employees that they will hire for this new office will have a chance to transfer to one of Snap Inc. offices in USA. This seems like a great employment opportunity!
The new Snap Inc. office in Shenzhen will focus on Spectacles. This makes sense as they are producing them in China. Snapchat isn’t allowed in China, so hiring people in China for their messaging app doesn’t make sense, but hiring people to do research for Spectacles does. Employees of this new office will mostly do research work; Snap Inc. wants to stay aware of new and evolving trends.
China has huge advertisement opportunities. Snap Inc. isn’t making any money from Snapchat in China because as I mentioned before, it is banned there, but Chinese advertisers whose target audience is outside China can still use Snap Inc. advertisement services. Snap Inc. is expanding their presence in China and many believe this could be a sign that they have long-term plans for their hardware products.