Lemon sport is a perfect alternative term for Snapchat’s mascot. A white ghost-like figure appears against a lemon background. This ghost-like drawing was inspired by a mascot designed by Reggie Brown, a former student at Stanford University. Brown named his mascot “Ghostface Chillah” after Ghostface Killah from the hip-hop group Wu=Tang Clan.
In 2011, two other former Stanford University students changed the world of photographs shared through social media channels. Working together, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy created Snapchat, an app that makes images disappear once people have looked at them.
The company founders’ rationale for the new app is that because photography is now free and frictionless, it is a medium for communicating with others rather than for creating memories. Snapchat is a utility company for visual texting. It’s not really a popular social media channel because it is based upon private, intimate communication between people. Snapchat might be considered a lemon sport of private photo sharing with photographs that disappear once they have been seen.
Snapchat and its parent company Snap Inc. have been in the news lately. This is because the company app soared 44 percent in their public market debut on Wall Street. Shares of Snap stock traded in a $23.0 to $26.05 band before the trading session ended at $24.48 per share. Snap Inc. is valued at around 28 billion dollars making the stock shares worth about two and a half times the value of their social media rival Twitter. However, both Google valued at 580 billion dollars and Facebook valued at $395 billion dollars rival Snap Inc. for advertising dollars. This is not bad for a company identified with a ghostlike symbol against a yellow background. This makes Snapchat resemble a lemon sport company.
According to Nielsen, most of the 158 million people using Snapchat daily are between the ages of 18 and 34. Evan Spiegel, Snap Inc.’s CEO, revealed in an interview with The Times that Snapchat offers something for everyone. “Talking with pictures and making memories is universally appealing. It’s been great to watch the business grow, but there’s more to come,” Spiegel related over a cup of coffee. Although the app is popular among teens and tweens, more adults are starting to use Snapchat.
What is Snapchat? Is it a social media platform, a camera or both? Evan Speigel’s view of social media is very different from that envisioned by the older founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Snapchat was introduced to the world in 2011. The app introduced the concept of using a phone’s camera, rather than its keyboard to share personal ideas and messages that could disappear.
Snap Inc.’s founders envision how to reinvent the camera. They are working to change the camera’s design and introduce new ways for images to work with sophisticated software by increasing camera capabilities. The Snapchat app was born based on their initial design ideas. They also developed a product called Spectacles that are video-camera sunglasses selling for $130. The founder’s mission evolved from a realization that Snapchat opened doors to a new way of communication using disappearing photo and video messages after the recipient has seen them.
Evan Spiegel is “a rare combination of someone who understands the consumer, the product and how to build a company around it,” said MTV co-founder Bob Pittman, currently chief executive and chair of Snap business partner IHeartMedia. “It’s rare,” he added, “to find someone with both creative and business skills. And it’s pretty apparent to anyone who’s dealt with Snap that he has infused the entire company with that integrated view.”