I still don’t know whether Snapchat’s rejection of Facebook’s whopping $3 billion buyout was a startup bubble-induced act of stupid hubris or a savvy, forward-thinking rejection that will eventually be vindicated, but this much is clear: When it comes to getting people to upload photographs, Snapchat has already surpassed Facebook.
A Snapchat representative told Business Insider that users are sending over 400 million snaps a day, while sources at Facebook confirmed that users upload around 350 million photos a day to the larger social network. Previously, this fall Snapchat reported users were uploading 350 million, but it appears the number has risen significantly – very quickly. And Snapchat has had more photo uploads than Instagram since last May, but now Snapchat’s numbers dwarf Instagram, which reports 55 million uploads.
Of course, there’s a big difference in uploading a photograph to Snapchat and putting one on Facebook. Snapchat’s photos are only displayed for a matter of seconds, or a day if a user chooses to include an image in their “Snapchat Stories” profile. The images are meant to be temporary, and often shared with one person or a small group. When people upload images to Facebook, they’re usually meant to be shared with a wider circle, and Facebook friends can access the photos as long as the uploader wants. It’s a more permanent option for displaying media on a digital platform. Also, most obviously, there’s only one thing to do on Snapchat: Upload and share photos. There’s far more options on Facebook, so activity time in total might be a fairer statistic to measure and compare.
The platform differences are important to note, but that doesn’t diminish this accomplishment for Snapchat. The user base is much smaller than Facebook’s, so this means that the average Snapchat user is sharing many more images than the average Facebook user — it’s a younger platform with different ambitions, but the people who are using it are using it heavily — and as Snapchat continues to grow, the discrepancy between the amount of photos uploaded to Facebook and to Snapchat will also likely continue to grow, unless Facebook develops a new way for users to engage with media that catches on.