An image of the Snapchat logo created with Post-it notes is seen in the windows of Havas Worldwide at 200 Hudson Street in lower Manhattan, New York, US. Picture: REUTERS
An image of the Snapchat logo created with Post-it notes is seen in the windows of Havas Worldwide at 200 Hudson Street in lower Manhattan, New York, US. Picture: REUTERS

Snap, the makers of the hugely popular Snapchat app, are the latest of the global social media firms to open their African office in SA.

Snap has partnered with Ad Dynamo, its authorised sales representative with the ability to sell Snapchat advertising in SA, Business Day can exclusively disclose.

Ad Dynamo, which already has a similar arrangement with Twitter, calls itself "Africa’s largest digital sales house, operating across sub-Saharan Africa".

Used by more than 180-million people every day, Snapchat is the current hit favourite app for the world’s youth.

This comes as Facebook is predicted to lose users in the key 12-17 years and 18-24 years age groups, by research firm eMarketers. "This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12-17 years will use Facebook via any device at least once per month," it said in a report.

Google’s 2007 opening was the first of the major international tech and social media operations on the continent, while Facebook opened theirs in 2015. Both are in Johannesburg.

Twitter arrived in 2014 when Ad Dynamo began its advertising sales under an agreement, which, like Snapchat, entails not adding any margin to advertising costs.

"We are thrilled to partner with Snapchat in SA," Ad Dynamo CEO Sean Riley told Business Day.

Launched in 2012, Snapchat has emerged as one of the hottest social networks, offering its users filters and other effects over photographs. About 60% of its users create new content — called Snaps — each day, an average of 20 new ones each, creating more than 3.5-billion Snaps daily.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel famously rebuffed his Facebook counterpart Mark Zuckerberg’s $13n offer in 2013 to buy the then one-year-old disappearing pictures app. Instead Facebook launched a Snapchat clone called Poke. This proved to be the making of Snapchat, because despite "sharing over a billion images through the service, Snapchat struggled to be taken seriously", author Billy Gallagher relates in his recently published book How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story.

"The logic changed from ‘the photos disappear — Snapchat must be for sexting’ to ‘Facebook made a disappearing photos app — disappearing photos must be the next big thing’." Snap listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2017, valuing it at $28bn, the biggest social media listing since Twitter went public.

Earlier in February, Snap beat Wall Street estimates for the first time with quarterly results that saw its stock surge 20% in after-hours trading on the day. It sold $286m worth of advertising in quarter four, a 72% increase over the previous year’s period.

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