Is Snapchat a Fad?

So, is wildly popular disappearing messaging app Snapchat a fad?

snapchatThe short answer, from our point of view, is “no”.

Snapchat, the app notorious for being used as a sexting medium, could have exhausted its 15 minutes of fame months ago. After all, there are plenty of messaging apps. Heck, you don’t even need a messaging app – phones come with SMS built in.

What about Snapchat’s unique features? Pictures disappear seconds after being viewed? Well, they don’t really disappear. Vanishing videos? Nope. Plus, there are other ephemeral messaging options, and there will surely be more to come. Did the company suffer amid an outbreak of pornographic spam? Hardly.

They even turned down a $3 billion dollar cash offer from Facebook last year. Surely that was a bad idea for a relatively untested platform.

We took a look at the Google trends data for searches for the term “Snapchat”, and compared those to searches for WhatsApp (500 million + users) and Instagram (200 million + users). Snapchat search interest is at an all time high, and has spiked higher recently.

Some of the searches are no doubt being done by curious folks looking to see whether any sexy, sexting messages have made their way out of people’s phones and onto the web. Spoiler: a lot have.

Yellow: Instagram. Red: WhatsApp. Blue: Snapchat

As a parent, you should know that even though some people view Snapchat as an app principally used for sexting, that is hardly the case. Teens and millennials are using Snapchat for run of the mill “here is what I’m doing right now” picture messages.

That being said, some teens are using Snapchat for sexting, and parents can’t just hope that it’s a fad that will go away. If teens and millennials decide something is cool, there’s no stopping it until it has run its course, usually when something cooler comes along. It doesn’t look like that is happening any time soon, so talk to your teens about which apps they are using, and for what.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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