Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is known as someone who would rather avoid talking about the details of his company. However, in an unexpected speech recently, he opened up more about the philosophy which drives Snapchat.
Spiegel was scheduled to give a keynote speech at the AXS Partner Summit. He took the occasion to delve into the relevance of Snapchat in today’s digital world and show how the app is not only successful but is radically changing the way we communicate over social media.
According to Spiegel, rather than saying we live in a post-PC era, it would be more apt to say that it is a ‘more-personal computer’ era. He says that in the last generation of digital communications, people kept their online and offline identities separate. There was a distinct divide and while maintaining their online identities, people used content as an auxiliary form of communications.
Today, he says, the pervasive connectivity has built a habit of constant ephemerality in our digital communications and into the content which is used for such communications. He cited the notion of ‘Internet Everywhere’ to make his point clearer.
In his own words, “Internet Everywhere means that our old conception of the world separated into an online and an offline space is no longer relevant. Traditional social media required that we live experiences in the offline world, record those experiences, and then post them online to recreate the experience and talk about it.”
He says that the divide between online and offline is gone and people today have come to use content such as photos as a primary form of communication itself. And so, the much-touted ‘selfie’ is ‘arguably the most popular form of self-expression.’ Snapchat has, thus, turned the social media conversations from a second-hand experience to an actual, real experience which is very close to our actual lives.
In his concluding remarks, he then points out the significance of Snapchat in this transition, “That’s what Snapchat is all about. Talking through content not around it. With friends, not strangers. Identity tied to now, today. Room for growth, emotional risk, expression, mistakes, room for you.”