After I started looking more closely at mobile apps I saw all these little ways that Snapchat was different from almost any other app in interesting ways that work. I use it but not that much (bc I am old) but it's the most truly mobile first app. It zigs when everyone else zags and so it is really unique and differentiated.
  1. You almost never have to be precise with your taps in Snapchat
    In most apps, you are constantly having to tap little icons -- on a tab bar to navigate, a lightning icon to toggle flash, etc. -- but in snapchat you just swipe anywhere on the screen. If you are very drunk Snapchat might be the only app you could use successfully. Even the few cases where you are tapping on icons are in the corners not near anything else and have large hitslop areas.
  2. Most social media (List, etc) is about accumulation of content but Snapchat stuff disappears after 24 hours
    Another example of their success with nontraditional product choices! When I first saw Snapchat I thought they should think about trying to increase the half life of their content by keeping photos around somehow and resurfacing them. I am really dumb sometimes. The ephemerality makes it way lower stress and gets people to Snap things they wouldn't do through other media.
  3. You only get feedback from reciprocation
    No likes or comments. It's kind of like a messenger not a social media app. H/t @nicole
  4. They have tried bold new things a bunch of times and made them work
    Adding Snapchat Stories worked. The crazy weird filter things work. The Discover big media tab maybe not so much but it's not a disaster either and maybe they'll figure it out. It's a really good sign for the company and its future that they aren't just a one gimmick wonder.