The Tech Behind Snapchat Continues to be Its Secret Sauce
By Brandon Gordon
Snapchat is one of the most widely used applications on the market today, with an estimated 400-million 'snaps' being sent between users on a daily basis. A snap can be likened to a video or picture message that can be sent to friends, or displayed on a public story timeline for followers to view. What users love about the platform is that it allows them to reach a broad audience while also adding fun animations, filters and stickers to their video and picture messages. However, Snapchat has been incorporated by many large technology companies as a means to spread their customer outreach into new markets.
What's more, Snapchat's popularity grew in such an astronomical way that it attracted the eyes of many technology titans around the globe. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, offered Evan Spiegel--the founder and CEO of Snapchat--a 3-billion dollar offer to buy the company. At the time, Spiegel declined the offer and stated that he would like to grow the company in an organic fashion and steer the technology without limitations. Since the 2013 offer from Zuckerberg, Facebook has been kicking and clawing in order to try and steal the limelight away from the company to no avail.
What's Going on Behind the Scenes?
With the huge success that Snapchat has experienced of the years, people have begun to question the technology behind the scenes that make the application possible. What programming language are they using? What framework have they incorporated to reach millions of users? What marketing strategy did they employ to impact so many lives? These are all questions that people have speculated without a definitive answer.
Firstly, we should point out that Snapchat runs on the Google App Engine as opposed to the extensive Amazon Web Services product that Jezz Bezos created. This comes as a shock to many technology experts as the web services product from Amazon already has a staggering client list including Reddit, Spotify and even the Netflix platform. Snapchat felt that Google was geared towards their mission and provided the technological tools that would be needed to complete the project. The Google kit comes equipped with NoSQL datastores and a complex user authentication API that keeps data protected and secure from malicious threats.
Similarly, since Snapchat has a feature that automatically deletes user data after an extended period of time, using Google's cloud services seemed like an obvious choice. The platform provides a free version of their services that users can then upgrade depending on the amount of storage space needed for their endeavors. This partnership between Google and Snapchat has proven to be very lucrative and provides users with a unique experience that cannot be replicated as of yet.
And finally, speculation has been circulated that the application was written in Swift and Objective-C programming languages. Although no definitive statement has been made about what framework the technology company uses, these two languages seem to be most plausible considering the features Snapchat incorporates. Whatever the framework, it is clearly outstanding. Snapchat's ability to find bugs before they go live also almost unheard of in apps of its kind. Spiegel has paid big bucks for the world's top talent working behind the scenes, and with one of the biggest tech IPO's in history likely to be on the way, it has clearly paid off.