The engineering behind Snapchat’s augmented-reality selfies
Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown when they were students at Stanford University. The company headquarters are located in Venice, California.
The prototype for Snapchat was started by Brown and Spiegel as a project for one of Spiegel’s classes at Stanford, where Spiegel was a product design major. Beginning under the name “Picaboo”, the idea was for users to communicate using images that were explicitly short-lived. When, in April 2011, Spiegel floated the product idea in front of his class as a final project, the classmates balked at the thought of temporary photos. Murphy was eventually brought into the project to write the source code for the application, and Picaboo first launched as an iOS-only app in July 2011 from Evan Spiegel’s living room (who was still staying at home with his father when not away at school). The application was relaunched two months later under the name Snapchat.
Snapchat evolved into a mix of private messaging and public content, including brand networks, publications, and live events such as sports and music. Nevertheless, according to survey studies conducted in March 2016, the personal oriented messaging was still being accessed by users more than the publicly offered content that was being presented. 71% of users surveyed said that they preferred the app for its chat, messaging, and imaging services, versus 5% who almost exclusively chose the various events, brand features, and celebrity content on a daily basis. 24% responded that they accessed all features equally. However, about three quarters of those surveyed were also familiar with the brand content and had a favorable opinion of those areas.