Snapchat Wants to Clean Up Its Adult Image

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal that his app sends more than 350 million snaps a day.

One has to wonder what percent of those snaps are of an adult nature.

The answer is too many. Snapchat is trying to position itself as more of a fun picture-sharing app and less of a private way to send after-dark photos.

CNN summed up the idea flawlessly in their story highlights section:

Snapchat founder says the app is not good for sending inappropriate photos

The problem is that it’s a fantastic app for sending inappropriate photos, everyone knows that Internet pictures never really go away.

image (18)Facebook changed their policy in 2012 to start deleting photos from its servers after users delete them online. Before this policy change, any deleted photo still existed hidden in Facebook’s databases. After three years of griping from users and privacy activists, they set up their photo deletion system to permanently take out any photos that users delete on their end.

This was all playing out as Snapchat popularity was growing. The idea that a picture with a weird face or embarrassing double chin could be instantly deleted after a few seconds started to look appealing.

Studies on sexting found that 73.5% of young adults sext, and 65.5% of teens (13-19) have sent at least one sext in their life. The prominence of sexting has led to the creation of websites with the sole purpose of shaming ex-significant others. Young adults trying to establish a professional Internet reputation can find that it’s been ruined before they’ve even begun.

Almost everyone has been betrayed by the permanency of the Internet, either by the malice of an ex or by Facebook friends rehashing the night before. Snapchat has rapidly grown in popularity for sharing adult themes because it fills the need for connecting socially without the danger of Internet defamation.

Spiegel is well aware of how creepy photo sharing has become and explained that Snapchat has no intention of creating a Google Glass app for its fans.

Glass is already pretty invasive with the technology to take pictures just by winking. The combination of Snapchat’s and Glass’ reputation would definitely create some unwanted controversy.

image (19)Snapchat has been trying to brand itself in a more-family friendly light and even created SnapKidz for the under 13 crowd. It’s not about sending R-rated photos without leaving a paper trail; it’s about capturing the moment, adding colors and sharing it with everyone you’re close to.

Here’s the question that I pose to you, which is more difficult from a rebranding standpoint: taking something adult-themed and positioning it in a family-style light, or transitioning your audience from kids and families to adults?

Two entities have reputations that they don’t want and are trying to change the demographics that they most appeal to. Who will be more successful: Miley Cyrus or Snapchat?

About the author

Amanda Dodge