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Snapchat: The next big IPO

In a time when social-media platforms can become passe almost as quickly as they appear, it is perhaps fitting that the most buzzed-about social-networking app now has ephemerality as its calling card.

Pegged as one of the most highly anticipated potential tech IPOs for the year, Snapchat was launched in 2011 by three Stanford undergrads.

The mobile-only app chiefly allows users to share photos and videos that vanish after being viewed for up to 10 seconds.

Don’t get the point? Neither do most of those over the age of 25 (a vast majority of Snapchat users fall into the under-25 category). But the facts and figures are nothing to scoff at. Here are 10 that make us sit up.

01 US$15 Billion
(S$20.9 billion) Estimated value of Snapchat at press time.

02 Going IPO?
Speculation has been rife since former Credit Suisse tech banker Imran Khan – who led last year’s record-setting Alibaba debut – joined the tech company last December.

03 US$3 Billion
Amount offered by Facebook in an acquisition bid. Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel turned down the offer. He later told Forbes: “There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this. I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.”

04 Youngest Billionaires
Founders Spiegel, 24, and Bobby Murphy, 26, made this year’s Forbes’ 10-digit list for the first time.

05 US$200 Million
The amount that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba recently ploughed into the firm. Alibaba has also invested in ride-sharing app Lyft and chat app Tango.

06 Banned in China
This puts the app in the company of websites like Google, Facebook and Instagram.

07 4.6 Million
Number of Snapchat usernames and phone numbers leaked on the Internet last year.

08 Long(er) View
In 2013, the Stories feature was launched, letting users string their Snaps together in a visual feed that can be viewed for up to 24 hours. The recently launched Discover platform features content from media companies like CNN and ESPN.

09 Fast Fashion
Michael Kors and Valentino are among the fashion labels that have recently used the app to give users a glimpse of their shows.

10 US$750,000
Snapchat’s reported daily asking ad rate.