Breaking the Speed of “Like,” Snapchat passes on $3 billion (infographic)

Written by David Michaelis

Snapchat is informally valued at $3 billion thanks to Facebook. Why did it refuse the offer you could not refuse? David Michaelis comments. — Snapchat, that bright-burning star of a photo-messaging service, was just courted by Facebook for a cool $3 billion. The value of the scalding hot app has skyrocketed since its debut in 2011 but it hasn’t made a single penny yet. Breaking the speed of “Like,” it seems, is about much more than a financial future. So, why the enormous valuation?

The ghostly company owes much of its success to the self-described selfie generation. These users believe that the speed and privacy of Snapchat is better and cooler than Facebook. For many, it marks the beginning of a new way to share.

To add to the identity of this generation, “selfie” has been named word of the year by The Oxford Dictionary. Yes, that’s correct, the most-esteemed guardian of the English language has bestowed a prestigious honor upon arguably the most-embarrassing phenomenon of the digital age: the selfie. So, grab a smartphone, put on your best duck face, and celebrate.

The Future of Social

Let’s not confuse the word selfie with an engaged, I-centric community led by the uber-young. Or should we? The 23-year-old founders of Snapchat dropped out of Harvard and Stanford (mirroring the career trajectory of Mark Zuckerberg), but they have a different vision for the future of visual communication than the founder of Facebook.


Snapchat’s 23-year-old co-founder Evan Spiegel refused the $3 billion offer for Snapchat, and the big questions is: Was he right?

This week’s price skyrockets the informal valuation of Snapchat, which a short time ago was deemed to be worth around $800 million.

How do we assign a monetary value to a company with users that exchange a reported 350 million photos every day? It was clearly worth more than $3 billion to Spiegel, which means his concept of value extends far beyond the financial gains of a company. Snapchat, like Facebook once, looks toward social influence and a “cool” factor that, for some, is worth more than anything.

Snapchat or Facebook?

Here are 5 pertinent reasons Spiegel made the right call, taken from The Olympian.


  1. Facebook is a terrible fit for Snapchat.
  2. It’s more fun to run your own company and shoot for the stars.
  3. If Spiegel wanted to sell, he should hold out for more money.
  4. Money is overrated.
  5. Passing on a billion or more dollars can work.

Read the extended take here.

Each reason above centers on the key idea that Snapchat is not Facebook, has no desire to be Facebook, and is in a position much like Facebook was in its early years. Who knows where Snapchat will go?

The surveys show that many are leaving Facebook — specifically the crucial younger demographic which includes users age 18 to 29. This generation is the one that first propelled Facebook into prominence, and now 38 percent say they expect to spend less time using the site this year. See the infographic below for more analysis.

The two entities, Facebook and Snapchat, are not identical though, and those migrating young people risk a different kind of exposure with the silly ghost. My previous post and infographic on the state of Snapchat helps put the cool factor into context.

Another Take

While all of this money-throwing is serious social business, there is always the lighter side of life. Here’s Policymics hilarious take on Snapchat’s $3 billion dollar pass.

Yo Zuckerbro,

I wanted to hit you up personally to tell you how gutted I am that stuff didn’t work out between Facebook and Snapchat. It’s a bummer, but Facebook just isn’t the smexy young hookup we’re looking for, $3 billion or not. Sorry to be a buzzkill.

I’m sure you get it, brosepher. You can probably still remember being a hot-to-trot brogrammer, back in the day, when you were still 23. Remember how, when you weren’t hella old, shit just kind of came to you, like how you had your hand on the pulse of digital innovation, or how your parents gave you a brand-new Escalade, and then pulled strings so you could park it next to your high school?

We both know what it’s was like to be a little too badass for college — you for Harvard, and me for Stanford. We also both know how to party hard in Palo Alto. I bet your ragers with Sean Parker are pretty similar to the stuff that got my frat, Kappa Sigma, kicked off campus.

And then there’s the fact that we’re both total geniuses. You came up with Facemash to look at pictures of chicks, and I invented Picaboo so hotties would send me nude selfies … “

For more click here.

For, I’m David Michaelis.

Snapchat and Facebook Infographic

Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at