How Snapchat

Just a year ago, Snapchat was pri­mar­ily known as a

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Front Page - By Max Chafkin & Sarah Frier

went from dis­ap­pear­ing mes­sage app to global me­dia phe­nom­e­non

On a Wed­nes­day in early Fe­bru­ary, Khaled Khaled, a 40-yearold record pro­ducer from Mi­ami, stepped into the gar­den of his tem­po­rary res­i­dence at the Bev­erly Hills Ho­tel in Los An­ge­les. As he does most morn­ings, he gave thanks for an­other day on earth. “Good morn­ing,” he said to no one in par­tic­u­lar. “Bless up.” DJ Khaled, as he’s more com­monly known, was once a mi­nor fig­ure in the mu­sic world, a cre­ator of ra­dio-friendly hip-hop hits and the host of a nightly show on one of Mi­ami’s top FM sta­tions. The rap on Khaled was that he could at­tract tal­ented col­lab­o­ra­tors but wasn’t much of a mu­si­cian him­self. “Mostly, he just in­ces­santly screams dumb catch­phrases,” one Pitch­fork re­viewer com­plained. “And he doesn’t even do that par­tic­u­larly well.” This sort of thing weighed on Khaled. The crit­ics, the haters, the peo­ple who’ve ig­nored his ca­reer—they didn’t want him to be in such a beau­ti­ful gar­den.

“I love my an­gels,” Khaled said, ad­mir­ing the red, white, and pur­ple cy­cla­mens at the ho­tel. He saw God in those peren­ni­als. He also saw a metaphor for his own life’s jour­ney. Khaled sees metaphors ev­ery­where, ac­tu­ally, ally, which is a ma­jor key—or as he prefers to type it out, “Ma­jor ”—to his suc­cess on Snapchat, the so­cial net­work where he has amassed some 6 mil­lion fol­low­ers since last Oc­to­ber. “Life is like flow­ers,” he ob­served, train­ing his iphone cam­era at the ground and hold­ing down the record but­ton. “You grow. You blossom. You be­come great.” He posted the 10-se­cond video to Snapchat, then re­paired to his bun­ga­low to fur­ther phi­los­o­phize on the power of pos­i­tive think­ing, hard work, and the di­vine. That went out to his Snapchat fol­low­ers too, in a con­tin­u­ous se­ries of clips.

If you want to un­der­stand Snapchat, the in­sanely fast-grow­ing and—to peo­ple born be­fore 1990—straight-up in­sane mes­sag­ing app and me­dia plat­form, DJ Khaled is your Vir­gil. If you were one of the 100 mil­lion peo­ple who logged in to Snapchat each day dur­ing Su­per Bowl week­end, his thick beard and full frame were im­pos­si­ble to miss. You would have seen clips of him at an im­promptu con­cert where he was mobbed by sev­eral hun­dred scream­ing fans wav­ing gi­ant card­board keys, or at a rau­cous party spon­sored by Pep­sico, or in a pedi­cab he hailed af­ter the game. “Ride wit me through the jour­ney [to] more suc­cess,” he cap­tioned that last video, as his chauf­feur ped­aled fu­ri­ously.

Khaled had never heard of Snapchat when a friend sug­gested he check it out last year. While tak­ing a break from tour­ing last fall, he gave it a shot. “I didn’t re­ally know how to use it,” he says on a re­cent af­ter­noon in Los An­ge­les. “I was kind of just talk­ing to my­self.” Khaled filmed ev­ery­thing: his groom­ing rou­tine, his break­fasts, his hot tub, and, es­pe­cially, a Tus­canstyle lion sculp­ture that he would of­ten shout at while wa­ter­ing his plants. Mostly, he gave ad­vice. He ex­pounded on the im­por­tance of qual­ity bed­ding (“The key to more suc­cess is to have a lot of pil­lows”) and reg­u­lar meals (“They don’t want you to eat break­fast”). His most dra­matic Snapchat mo­ment oc­curred dur­ing a twi­light ride on a per­sonal wa­ter­craft in Biscayne Bay. “The key is to make it,” he re­peated as he got lost on the wa­ter. Then he turned the cam­era on him­self and added, “The key is not to drive your Jet Ski in the dark.”

Khaled made it, and since that fate­ful night he’s been pretty much the hottest ticket in me­dia—the guy who’s fig­ured out the dig­i­tal prop­erty ev­ery­one wants a piece of but no one quite un­der­stands. He’s palled around with Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, cre­ated Snapchat videos on be­half of Cîroc vodka, and signed a deal to host a weekly ra­dio show on Ap­ple Mu­sic’s flag­ship sta­tion, Beats 1. His catch­phrases have oc­ca­sioned ex­plain­ers from oth­er­wis­er­wis se­ri­ous news or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Time, Quartz, and— — Bloomberg Busi­ness­week. “DJ Khaled has com­pletely cracked the plat­form,” says Em­manuel Seuge, se­nior vice pres­i­dent for con­tent at Coca- Cola, one of Snapchat’s ma­jor ad­ver­tis­ers. “He’s the king of Snapchat.”

Com­pared with Twit­ter or Face­book,

Snapchat can seem al­most ag­gres­sively user-un­friendly. If you’re new to the app and look­ing for posts by your kid, your boyfriend, or DJ Khaled, good luck. It’s hard to find some­body with­out know­ing his or her screen name. This is by de­sign. “We’ve made it very hard for par­ents to em­bar­rass their chil­dren,” Spiegel said at a con­fer­ence in Jan­uary. “It’s much more for shar­ing per­sonal mo­ments than it is about this pub­lic dis­play.”

Spiegel, who de­clined to be in­ter­viewed, has been cagey about Snapchat’s busi­ness prospects. Its an­nual rev­enue is small—per­haps $200 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to sev­eral press re­ports—but it has al­ready drawn many big-name ad­ver­tis­ers. Ear­lier this year, Pep­sico, Ama­, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional, and Bud­weiser paid more than $1 mil­lion to have their ads ap­pear within the com­pany’s Su­per Bowl cov­er­age, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the deals. And be­cause Snapchat has yet to re­ally try to sell ads to the small and mid­size busi­nesses that make up most of Google’s and Face­book’s cus­tomer base, there’s a lot of po­ten­tial.

As Face­book has trans­formed from a slightly wild place to a com­mu­ni­ca­tions tool for par­ents, teach­ers, and heads of state, Snapchat’s more play­ful ethos, and the fact that any­thing posted on it dis­ap­pears in 24 hours, has made it the looser, goofier so­cial net­work. “You’re send­ing this ephemera back and forth to your friends,” says Char­lie Mckittrick, the head of strat­egy at Mother New York, an ad agency. “It’s the de­tri­tus of life. But it’s re­ally funny.” Last Septem­ber, while Mark Zucker­berg hosted In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Face­book’s cam­pus, the big news at Snapchat’s of­fices in Venice was a fea­ture called Lenses, which makes your self­ies look like you’re vom­it­ing a rain­bow.

Snapchat is just the sort of place where DJ Khaled, in his un­in­hib­ited glory, could find an au­di­ence. Vice called his Jet Ski ad­ven­ture “the great­est sit­com episode ever filmed.” Elite Daily, the “voice of Gen­er­a­tion Y” news site, raved, “If You’re Not Fol­low­ing DJ Khaled On Snapchat Al­ready, You’re Bug­gin’.” In De­cem­ber, Khaled posted to Snapchat while get­ting his iphone fixed at an Ap­ple Store. Soon he was sur­rounded by fans. “It was un­real,” he says. “My Snapchat has more view­ers than any TV show.”

That’s an ex­ag­ger­a­tion, but not by much. Khaled’s videos at­tract 3 mil­lion to 4 mil­lion view­ers each. Given how Snapchat skews over­whelm­ingly tween to late-mil­len­nial, that means about the same num­ber of young peo­ple are watch­ing him ad­mire flow­ers as are watch­ing the big­gest net­work sit­coms. Ac­cord­ing to Nielsen, roughly 3.3 mil­lion peo­ple age 12-34 watch The Big Bang The­ory.

Even big­ger than the videos posted by Khaled and Kylie Jen­ner—the plat­form’s other big star, with 10 mil­lion fol­low­ers— are Snapchat’s own Live Sto­ries. Th­ese are mashups of news events culled from the feeds of Snapchat users and pro­duced by the com­pany’s 100-per­son con­tent team of pro­duc­ers,

edi­tors, and a hand­ful of jour­nal­ists, who some­times add com­men­tary or con­trib­ute more footage. The big­gest Live Sto­ries seg­ments—for in­stance, New York’s 2015 Snow­maged­don and the Coachella mu­sic fes­ti­val—can draw view­er­ship in the tens of mil­lions. Snapchat Dis­cover, a col­lec­tion of slickly pro­duced feeds, at­tracts au­di­ences in the mil­lions. The com­pany says users watch roughly 8 bil­lion videos on its plat­form each day, about the same num­ber as Face­book, which has 10 times as many users as Snapchat. On a given day, ac­cord­ing to Nielsen, 41 per­cent of adults in the U.S. un­der 35 spend time on Snapchat.

“Ev­ery­body from 14 to 24 in Amer­ica, it’s ei­ther the No. 1 or No. 2 app in their lives,” af­ter In­sta­gram, says Gary Vayn­er­chuk, an an­gel in­vestor and en­tre­pre­neur. Ac­tu­ally, it’s not just an Amer­i­can phe­nom­e­non: Snapchat is a top 10 most-down­loaded app in about 100 coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to mar­ket re­searcher App An­nie. Vayn­er­chuk, who has in­vest­ments in Snapchat, Twit­ter, and Face­book, likens the ex­cite­ment to that of tele­vi­sion in the early 1960s. “The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple read­ing this ar­ti­cle will have a Snapchat ac­count within 36 months,” he says. “Even if, as they’re read­ing this, they don’t be­lieve me.”

dis­ap­pear­ing mes­sage app use­ful for send­ing nude pho­tos to lovers and lewd doo­dles to friends. “The peo­ple’s champ of smart­phone peep shows,” this mag­a­zine put it in 2013. When Spiegel turned down a re­ported $3 bil­lion buy­out of­fer by Face­book, the then-23-year-old was mocked in the press and even by mem­bers of his own board. “If you knew the real num­ber” of­fered by Face­book, Sony Pic­tures Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer and Snapchat board mem­ber Michael Lyn­ton con­fessed in an e-mail that was leaked as part of the 2014 Sony hack, “you would book us all a suite at Bellevue,” the New York hos­pi­tal with the fa­mous psy­chi­atric ward.

In late 2014, when Spiegel un­veiled the com­pany’s busi­ness plan—for a min­i­mum of $750,000, a big brand such as Coke or Pepsi could get short video ads to run in the app for one day—he was again de­rided for be­ing out of touch. “It’s like how the Kar­dashi­ans are fa­mous be­cause they’re fa­mous,” says Ben Win­kler, the chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer for the me­dia buy­ing firm OMD. “Snapchat is ex­pen­sive be­cause it’s ex­pen­sive.” Of course, that’s an­other way of say­ing it’s ex­pen­sive be­cause lots of peo­ple want to buy it. “Al­most ev­ery editor has put me in a choke­hold to find out how they can get on the plat­form,” says Joanna Coles, the editor-in-chief of Cos­mopoli­tan, and since De­cem­ber a Snapchat board mem­ber.

Snapchat, which was most re­cently val­ued at $16 bil­lion,

doesn’t look or feel like any nor­mal form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Open the app, and you’re con­fronted by a full-screen viewfinder that looks a lot like your phone’s reg­u­lar cam­era app. Mys­te­ri­ous ab­stract icons hover in cor­ners. Swip­ing right re­veals your mes­sages. This is where com­mit­ted users send hun­dreds of self­ies a day to their friends, an­no­tat­ing them with emo­jis or doo­dles, or ap­ply­ing one of Snapchat’s con­stantly chang­ing col­lec­tion of rain­bow-vomit-type fil­ters.

Swip­ing left gets you to the meat of the app: sto­ries. Th­ese are short video clips that run in a se­ries and dis­ap­pear within 24 hours. You, your friends, and peo­ple you fol­low, like DJ Khaled, can post. The up­per half of the screen is de­voted to vari­a­tions on sto­ries: the day’s Snapchat-pro­duced Live Sto­ries, as well as Snapchat Dis­cover. There are 20 Snapchat Dis­cover chan­nels, each pro­duced by es­tab­lished me­dia brands such as Peo­ple, CNN, ESPN, and the Wall Street Jour­nal, as well as upand-com­ers such as Vice, Buz­zfeed, and Re­fin­ery29. Coles’s Cosmo chan­nel is on Dis­cover, as is Sweet, a pub­li­ca­tion run by the mag­a­zine’s par­ent com­pany, Hearst.

Dis­cover part­ners gen­er­ally post 10 or more videos a day on its chan­nels. App users can tap a chan­nel icon to start watch­ing the stream, and tap again to skip to the next clip. Or, if they’re in­trigued by a clip, they can swipe up to watch a longer ver­sion or read an ar­ti­cle. No mat­ter how they tap or swipe, users stay in the app. Links to the Web aren’t al­lowed. Pub­lish­ers love not hav­ing to com­pete with a steady stream of links from other pub­lish­ers, as on Face­book or Twit­ter, and ad­ver­tis­ers love that users ac­tu­ally seem to watch the ads. Since last year, Snapchat has broad­ened its ad­ver­tiser base by in­tro­duc­ing less-ex­pen­sive prod­ucts. To­day, buy­ing time on Dis­cover costs $20 per thou­sand views—more than twice what an ad goes for on Face­book and In­sta­gram. The pro­ceeds are split be­tween Snapchat and its me­dia part­ners.

The num­ber of Dis­cover slots is lim­ited—right now it’s just the 20 that fit on one Snapchat screen—and com­pe­ti­tion among me­dia brands is fierce. In July, Snapchat dropped Ya­hoo! even though Spiegel had per­son­ally re­cruited Katie Couric, Ya­hoo’s lead news an­chor. Buz­zfeed got that slot. Snapchat de­clines to ex­plain why it bounced Ya­hoo, but traf­fic to the chan­nel was re­port­edly poor. Shortly af­ter re­plac­ing Ya­hoo on Dis­cover, Buz­zfeed CEO Jonah Peretti dis­closed that 21 per­cent of his com­pany’s over­all au­di­ence came from Snapchat, a share ex­ceeded only by Face­book and Buz­zfeed’s own web­site and apps.

For less-es­tab­lished com­pa­nies, get­ting a Dis­cover slot can be trans­for­ma­tive. “That was a dra­matic mo­ment in the life of our com­pany,” says Steven Kydd, a co-founder of Tastemade, a fouryear-old me­dia startup fo­cused on food and travel videos. Since join­ing Dis­cover in Au­gust, Tastemade has added 20 em­ploy­ees, raised an ex­tra $40 mil­lion in ven­ture cap­i­tal, and re­ori­ented it­self around Snapchat. Tastemade started out pro­duc­ing videos pri­mar­ily for Youtube, then ex­panded to Face­book, In­sta­gram, and Ap­ple TV. To be el­i­gi­ble for Snapchat’s Dis­cover fea­ture, not only did Tastemade have to pro­duce even more videos, it also needed them to work on a smart­phone screen, which is more com­pli­cated than it sounds. “This,” Kydd says, point­ing at a TV mounted ver­ti­cally on the wall in Tastemade’s stu­dio in Los An­ge­les, “is how mil­len­ni­als view con­tent.”

The com­pany built a set, specif­i­cally de­signed for ver­ti­cal videos, that’s roughly 15 per­cent skin­nier than a stan­dard set and has cam­eras turned on their sides. Tastemade still has to fill up the other plat­forms, so it shoots the rest of its videos hor­i­zon­tally on high-res­o­lu­tion cam­eras, while keep­ing the ac­tion in the middle third of the screen so the footage can also run on Snapchat. TV mon­i­tors in the stu­dio are marked with black tape that shows the Snapchat ver­sion’s frame. After­ward, seg­ments are edited into mul­ti­ple cuts: ver­ti­cal for Snapchat, square for In­sta­gram and Face­book, hor­i­zon­tal for Youtube and Ap­ple TV. “Ev­ery­thing in the in­dus­try is de­signed around land­scape video, so to do por­trait you kind of have to hack the process,” says Jay Holzer, Tastemade’s head of pro­duc­tion.

Days at Tastemade be­gin with an hour­long story meet­ing fo­cused on the fol­low­ing day’s Snapchat edi­tion. “Be­lieve it or not, we try to treat this a lit­tle bit like a news­room,” says Oren Katzeff, the pro­gram­ming chief, as a dozen edi­tors and pro­duc­ers sit down in a con­fer­ence room and open their lap­tops. The main item on the agenda one Fe­bru­ary morn­ing is Cookie the News. It’s a se­ries made specif­i­cally for Snapchat that uses sped-up video to de­pict the cre­ation of a cur­rent-events-themed sweet— for in­stance, a but­ter cookie frosted to look like Ziggy Star­dust, to com­mem­o­rate the death of David Bowie. (Cookie the News’s tagline: “Don’t read it. Eat it.”) “We try to cover things that are fun and that can also be turned into a great cookie,” Katzeff says.

The first pitch of the morn­ing fo­cuses on the Ger­man short­haired poin­ter that just won the West­min­ster Ken­nel Club Dog Show. Dogs are cute, ev­ery­one agrees. But some­one men­tions that a gi­raffe cookie, pegged to the sight­ing of a rare sub­species in a Tan­za­nian na­tional park, bombed sev­eral weeks ear­lier. “I think this falls into that cat­e­gory,” an­other pro­ducer says. “Un­less we can do some­thing dif­fer­ent with the cookie it­self.”

“Could you do a dog cookie that the dog could eat?” some­one asks, be­fore the idea is mer­ci­fully put to sleep.

The group runs through other pro­pos­als: cook­ies of Adele at the Gram­mys, the Sports Il­lus­trated swim­suit is­sue, the Chi­nese govern­ment’s re­ported forced re­set­tle­ment of eth­nic mi­nori­ties, all nixed. Fi­nally, some­one men­tions a flaw in Ap­ple soft­ware that can cause iphones to “brick,” or be per­ma­nently dis­abled. An iphone-shaped cookie get­ting crushed by a brick is ap­proved.

His­tory sug­gests that cookie-based me­dia, and Snapchat

in gen­eral, may be a fad. In 2013, sev­eral vi­ral video com­pa­nies thrived, thanks to a knack for be­ing able to rank highly in Face­book’s News Feed by us­ing teas­ing head­lines. For a time, it worked; Up­wor­thy, for ex­am­ple, saw traf­fic hit nearly 90 mil­lion unique users. But Face­book changed its News Feed, con­sumers tired of the click bait, and traf­fic sank. “Face­book changed and we adapted,” says Up­wor­thy CO-CEO Peter Koech­ley.

Be­fore he helped start Tastemade, Kydd was an ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of De­mand Me­dia, which ran con­tent farms, web­sites that cranked out posts by the thou­sands on a daily ba­sis. Posts had lit­tle in­for­ma­tional value—for in­stance, “How to Put on a Speedo” was a clas­sic—but they gen­er­ated huge traf­fic, and ad rev­enue, by ex­ploit­ing a quirk in the way Google han­dled search queries. The com­pany went pub­lic in 2011 and peaked at a val­u­a­tion of roughly $2 bil­lion—at the time, about 25 per­cent more than that of the New York Times. Then Google up­dated its al­go­rithm, and De­mand Me­dia’s traf­fic col­lapsed. To­day its mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion is roughly $100 mil­lion, and it has a new man­age­ment team. Kydd notes that Tastemade has al­ways fo­cused on high-qual­ity con­tent.

In late Fe­bru­ary, Snapchat an­nounced it would pro­vide de­tailed de­mo­graphic in­for­ma­tion about users through Nielsen’s dig­i­tal rat­ings ser­vice, a wel­come de­vel­op­ment for some ad­ver­tis­ers wary of the hype. “Snapchat is aw­fully ex­pen­sive, and

“The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple read­ing this …

there’s pretty much a lack of data and vis­i­bil­ity,” says Thom Gruh­ler, a mar­ket­ing vice pres­i­dent at Mi­crosoft. An­other com­plaint: Meet­ings with Snapchat ex­ec­u­tives are rare. “Whether it’s Imran [Khan, Snapchat’s chief strat­egy of­fi­cer] or Evan, it’s like get­ting an au­di­ence with the pope,” says an ex­ec­u­tive at one of the largest ad agen­cies. With Face­book and Twit­ter, the big agen­cies get as many meet­ings as they want.

Snapchat de­clined to com­ment on this cri­tique, but it has in­formed me­dia buy­ers that it plans to im­prove ad tar­get­ing and mea­sur­ing while promis­ing a more hands-on ap­proach. And in Fe­bru­ary it struck a deal to al­low Vi­a­com to sell ads on Snapchat’s be­half. “They’re in the midst of grow­ing up,” says Car­rie Seifer, pres­i­dent for dig­i­tal at Star­com Me­di­avest Group.

For now, that’s been enough. Ad­ver­tis­ers don’t have a lot of good op­tions to reach un­der-30s. The au­di­ences of CBS, NBC, and ABC are, on av­er­age, in their 50s. Ca­ble net­works such as CNN and Fox News have it worse, with me­dian view­er­ships near or past So­cial Se­cu­rity age. MTV’S me­dian view­ers are in their early 20s, but rat­ings have dropped in re­cent years. Mar­keters are un­der­stand­ably anx­ious, and Spiegel and his deputies have cap­i­tal­ized on those anx­i­eties bril­liantly by charg­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars when Snapchat in­tro­duces an ad prod­uct. OMD’S Win­kler calls this a “shrewd strat­egy” that “in­stantly el­e­vates the con­ver­sa­tion—of­ten to the CMO level,” which means that Snapchat ad buys are of­ten sub­ject to less bud­getary scru­tiny than nor­mal. “Ev­ery CMO’S kid is us­ing it,” says Star­com’s Seifer.

When Snapchat sales reps have called on ad­ver­tis­ers, they’ve typ­i­cally spent more time with cre­ative teams than with me­dia buy­ers, says David Gaines, chief plan­ning of­fi­cer at Maxus Global, a me­dia buy­ing agency. “I’ll be hon­est, I had no idea what they were talk­ing about half the time,” he says of a Snapchat train­ing ses­sion he at­tended. But Gaines is quick to add that he’s a Snapchat be­liever, be­cause it of­fers the chance to cre­ate ads that look like they be­long on a mo­bile phone, not like minia­tur­ized TV com­mer­cials. “The dig­i­tal pro­duc­ers will come to us and say, ‘Wow, we saw Snapchat this week, and they’re teach­ing us things we don’t even know about our own jobs,’ ” he says.

In De­cem­ber, Khan trav­eled to Chicago to meet with ex­ec­u­tives at Pep­sico’s Ga­torade divi­sion. Over drinks at Soho House, he pro­posed a Su­per Bowl col­lab­o­ra­tion us­ing a new ad­ver­tis­ing prod­uct in­spired by the weird selfie lenses. The re­sult was a video fil­ter that for two days al­lowed users to send clips that looked like some­one was dump­ing a bucket of or­ange Ga­torade over their heads. Nei­ther Snapchat nor Ga­torade would com­ment on price, but re­ports put it be­tween $450,000 and $750,000 per day. The videos of vir­tual drench­ings were watched more than 160 mil­lion times. “We think it was a fan­tas­tic col­lab­o­ra­tion,” says Kenny Mitchell, who helps lead Ga­torade’s new me­dia mar­ket­ing. He adds that he ex­pects to work more with Snapchat in the com­ing year.

DJ Khaled, too, hopes to col­lab­o­rate more closely with Snapchat. In Novem­ber he be­came one of the first own­ers of an Of­fi­cial Sto­ries ac­count, de­signed to make it slightly eas­ier for Snapchat new­bies to find celebri­ties. Rather than a blue check mark, as on Face­book and Twit­ter, celebri­ties get a unique emoji moji next to their name. Khaled’s, nat­u­rally, is a . He also re­cently pitched Spiegel some ideas for us­ing Snapchat to show­case mu­sic, an area where it has strug­gled.

For now he’s got the deals with Cîroc and Ap­ple Mu­sic, as well as his onli on­line cloth­ing store, where you can buy “Ma­jor ” T-shirts and flipflops that say “Bless” on the left foot and “Up” on the right, but he’s try­ing not to overdo it on paid tie-ins. “When you’re suc­cess­ful, the money chases you,” he says. “You don’t have to chase the money.”

Through the blus­ter is a hint of anx­i­ety, com­mon enough among moguls and artists, that maybe the magic is fleet­ing. That’s height­ened by the knowl­edge that ev­ery­thing on Snapchat to­day will be gone to­mor­row. Khaled some­times saves his best posts. “I don’t save them all,” he says. “Just the clas­sic ones.” <BW>

will have a Snapchat ac­count within 36 months”

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