Snapchat started getting a lot of media attention late last year. At the time, the photo messaging application was used by a few million people and it raised millions of dollars from investors. Those users quickly multiplied and combined, they’re now sending 150 million photos to each other per day.
In February, they were sending 60 million photo messages per day.
Snapchat was founded by fraternity brothers Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, both in their early 20s. It lets users take and send mobile photos to friends and draw or type messages on top of the photos.
The receiver can only view the photo message for a few seconds. After that, the image disappears and neither the viewer nor the sender can ever see it again.
Spiegel and Murphy’s explosive growth attracted Mark Zuckerberg, who visited the pair late last year. A few weeks later, Facebook launched Poke, an app that looked eerily similar to Snapchat.
While it’s becoming widely received, Snapchat has dealt with a fair amount of controversy. Spiegel and Murphy were recently sued by a fellow Stanford student who claims he is the company’s third co-founder. In addition, teens are using Snapchat to send racy messages, and it almost got a bunch of high schoolers in New Jersey expelled.
So far, Snapchat hasn’t spread much beyond young adults. Spiegel admitted at All Things D’s conference yesterday that his app has a “dead spot” when it comes to 30 to 40-year-olds. But the younger users seem engaged enough to sustain the company for now.