The core feature of Snapchat is the creation of multimedia messages, referred to as snaps, which can consist of a photo or a short video, and can be edited with text, filters, stickers or other overlays. Snaps can be shared as a semi-public story, which is automatically shared with the user's contact list, or sent privately. As of the third quarter of 2015, sending messages and photo snaps were the most popular Snapchat activities among active users worldwide.
Snapchat audiences are predominantly young, with the company reporting the majority of users to be aged less than 24 years and a sizeable portion aged 13 to 17 years. A quarter of global Snapchat users access the service more than once per day, and the app ranks ahead of Tumblr and Twitter in terms of U.S. Millennial user engagement.
The platform has also become a cornerstone of social media marketing towards teens and Millennials. Snapchat users are also willing to pay for online and mobile content, with music downloads and TV and movie streaming being the most popular types of paid content. Visually strong brands such as sportswear, beauty and fashion are leading the way in terms of Snapchat adoption. The platform generates the majority of its revenues via advertising and branded content. In the first quarter of 2017, Snapchat's revenue amounted to 149.6 million U.S. dollars.