Now you see it, now you don’t. A lesson on Snapchat.

“A lot of nominated shows this year are actually on Netflix. House of Cards. Orange Is the New Black. Enjoy it while it lasts, Netflix. Because you’re not going to be feeling so smug in a couple of years when Snapchat is up here accepting Best Drama.” Amy Poehler, Co-Host of 2014 Golden Globe Awards.

Shapchat this, Snapchat that, everybody seems to be talking about Snapchat. So, I thought I’d break it down for you and explain what all of the talk is about — and help you understand some of these live TV jokes.

The 411 on Snapchat

Having just celebrated its 2nd birthday, Shapchat has really taken off since launching in October 2011. The photo messaging app allows users take pictures and videos, called “Snaps,” on their phones and send them out to a controlled list of people.

When the Snaps are sent out the user can set a time limit for how long the image will be viewable to others, anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds. Once the time is up, the Snaps are hidden from all viewers. While the image is live and viewable, recipients have to be watching, otherwise they’ll miss it, no rewind or pause button in sight.

Pretty thrilling, huh? You may start to see how this could get addicting.

Who, what, and how many?

  • Mostly people between the ages of 13 and 23
  • Over the past year, the app’s 40+ demographic has started growing
  • 80% of Snapchat users are American
  • 70% of of Shapchat users are women
  • 30% of Snaps are sent to groups rather than one or two people
  • 30% of Snaps are selfies (self-portrait photos)
  • 400 million photos and videos are posted each day

What’s in it for brands?

Brands are not shying away from the Shapchat challenge. A brand can set up a profile and connect with users who subscribe to their feed, just like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. “Snapchat Stories” was launched in October 2013, which allows brands (and users) to share multiple Snaps that make up a little story. Snapchat Stories stay visible on the app for up to 24 hours.

Some other ways to use Snapchat as a branding tool include:

  • Sharing time-sensitive images or information
  • Announcing contests
  • Having conversations with consumers and fans
  • Distributing coupons and promotions
  • Providing a behind-the-scene look
  • Giving fans a sneak peak of a spokesperson

Brands to check out on Snapchat: Taco Bell, GrubHub, Acura, New Orleans Saints

[Sources:; CBS News]