Evan Spiegel co-founded Snapchat, which he first proposed as a class project, with friend Bobby Murphy whilst still studying product design at Stanford University in 2011. Today Spiegel is chief executive of the Los Angeles-based social media messaging company, which reportedly has 150 million people using it each day.
The photo- and video-sharing app allows users to layer filters, text and effects, creating shareable Snaps that automatically disappear after 10 seconds. Snapchat also allows users to create Stories, which are compilations of Snaps that create a narrative.
A slew of companies have incorporated Snaps and Stories into their communications strategies. Brands active on Snapchat include Burberry, H&M, Louis Vuitton , Gucci, Alexander Wang , Marc Jacobs , Calvin Klein , Victoria's Secret, Balmain and Chanel, with many offering behind-the-scenes access during their fashion shows and exclusive atelier looks. The app is likewise loved by influencers like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner . Snapchat also contains a feature called Discover, a collection of channels curated by top publishers like Hearst, Refinery29 and Vice. When Instagram introduced stories in 2016, Snapchat’s growth steadily slowed, with Instagram’s 300 million daily user count beating that of Snapchat. In competition, Snapchat rolled out unskippable advertainments to engage brand partners. the platform is still a marketing hotbed for G-Z consumers, with marketers expected to spend an excess of $1.5 billion on the platform by the end of 2019.
Born to lawyer parents, Spiegel grew up in Pacific Palisades, California and attended the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica. He later enrolled at Stanford University to study product design after taking design classes at the Otis College of Art and Design and the Art Centre College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
As a student, Spiegel interned in Red Bull’s sales department and at biomedical company Abraxis BioScience, as well as working for software company Intuit. In 2012, he dropped out of Stanford to focus on Snapchat full-time, just a few classes shy of receiving his degree. In 2013 Spiegel rejected an offer of $3 billion from Facebook to acquire Snapchat.
In 2014, Spiegel and co-founder Murphy were named as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Today, the company is valued at $20 billion, while Spiegel himself is worth $2.1 billion according to Forbes.
In September 2016 the company released its Snapchat Spectacles, though the video-grabbing sunglasses missed sales expectations. By May 2018, Snapchat had lost $40 million in unused products, having sold only 220,000 pairs within the timeframe. When the company made its stock market debut in 2017, it was valued at around $24 billion.