Look, probs not. (Damn, I really should have drawn out that anti-climatic answer, eh?)
Even if you’re under that proverbial rock (because let’s be honest, wifi is pretty good these days, even under rocks), you probably heard the interwebs collectively lose their digital shit this week when Kylie Jenner flexed her influential muscles and basically declared that Snapchat was, like, so over.
Like her or hate her (or even if you’re secretly working on a bonkers conspiracy theory that she’s not actually human, rather an elaborate experiment by some government overlords to prove just how doomed we are as a species…hypothetically, obviously…), you’ve gotta be impressed by the youngest and most botoxed Jenner’s ability to literally doom a multi-billion dollar brand with 140 characters or less. To put that in perspective, I’m about 20 tweets deep in my war against Uber atm, and so far, I haven’t seen a single cent drop from their public value.
By the time it hit the news cycle (so, like 1.4 seconds later, good job internet *applause*), journalists were breathlessly reporting the incredible $1.3 billion dollars wiped off Snap’s value – pointing squarely at Jenner, and writing opinion piece after opinion piece of the perils of pissing off Qween Kylie.
So did Kylie really kill Snap? (in the library, with the candlestick.)
Again, probs not.
While it most certainly did not help that K-Jenz mobilised her army of overly made-up and filtered online minions to give up the ghost – there’s a massive clusterf*ck of bad decision making going on behind the scenes in EvanLand – all of which is collectively pushing this lame duck off the cliff.
Firstly – let’s have a good long look at the latest update.
I’ve seen some pretty bad UX experiences in my days, and I literally do not understand how the heck this one got past the ‘intern on work experience pitching an idea’ presentation stage and into actual, real, ‘let’s build this!’ production. This is a textbook case of ‘Reasons Why You Should Get External Agencies In To Help Once In Awhile’, because the only logical explanation I can offer for this hot mess is that the UX designers are just too bloody close to the app and they couldn’t see the err of their ways. (I won’t even attempt to explain away the head space of the people who actually signed this off to go live, because too hard.) I’m a digital native, who spends my entire working and personal life in this space, and I updated, opened it up, and closed it again with a great big fat NOPE within the space of 48 seconds. The backlash and feedback has been brutal, and if you’re gonna let ego get in the way of the voice of your core users, then, well, you deserve the swift descent into irrelevance. 1.2 million people signed the petition to change it back. 1.2 MILLION. #smh
Secondly – seriously bad time to announce a ‘because’ bonus for your founder.
Somehow, the Snap management team have found a justification to shove over $AU811 million worth of stocks into the back pocket of Evan Spiegel with their public listing. This makes him one of the US’s highest paid head honchos, ahead of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
Fun fact: Snapchat has never made a profit. In fact, it’s losses were posted at half a billion US dollars in 2016, and most people don’t understand what maths business analysts are using to value an increasingly unprofitable business at the $10billion mark. Maybe he’s been using the same accountants as Donald Trump?
And finally, this writing has been on the wall for so long, I’m sick of talking about it.
(Figuratively speaking, and obviously for effect, because I’m still writing about it, and will defo follow up, because I’m super passionate about the fact that Snap are doing all the things wrong.) I called this out last November, with a super intelligent and well researched piece* on why Snapchat isn’t the social media Queen Bee anymore, and as far as I can tell, they’ve done not a single damn thing since then to try and boost their social cred. Maybe they should try dating Instagram?
Because if everyone’s been really honest with themselves – Snapchat is basically that plant on my lounge room side table – technically it’s still holding on, but it’s looking pretty brown and droopy and I don’t have a skills, passion or desire to resuscitate it.
Anyone wanna take bets on it’s inevitable sell out? I’m tipping end of 2018 to Yahoo, who’ll do that thing where they spend a truckload of money making it ‘better’, releasing it with much jubilation and EXCITEMENT in early 2019 and even though we all agree that yeah, it looks really flash now, we’ve all kinda moved on and don’t need Snap in our lives anymore, but thanks anyway. (I think we call that manoeuvre ‘The Myspace’.)
Watch this space.
*Source: my dog.