Bobby Murphy: Co-Founder of Snapchat & New Snap-Spectacles

Over the last eight years, Snapchat has been an application that teens have loved to use. Whether it was originally to send funny pictures to your mates, or live stream a gig, Snapchat has played a significant role in pop-culture over the last decade, but for co-creator Bobby Murphy, this is just is just the beginning.

Evan Spiegel (left) and Bobby Murphy (right).

Wait a minute! Who is Bobby Murphy?

You may not have heard the name, but Bobby Murphy is one of the geniuses behind the Snapchat. Bobby Cornelius Murphy was born on July 19, 1988 in California to Filipino mother and an American father. He excelled in school, and went to college at Stanford University. After three years at Stanford, Murphy graduated with a Bachelor of Science.

During his studies at Stanford University, Murphy met his business partner Evan Spiegel, along with Frank Reginald Brown. The trio initially worked on a website that helped High Schoolers get advice on how to apply and get into colleges. After the site fell through, the trio begun working on their next big plan, Picaboo.

Picaboo was initially title of Snapchat, in where users would send a photo and it would disappear after a certain amount of time. Although the name did not stay, the ghost icon was the only feature that remained. It would only be Murphy and Spiegel who finished working on Snapchat, with Brown being forced out of the company. Brown eventually got compensated for leaving the company.

Murphy and Spiegel worked at extreme lengths to get their app off the ground, with both taking up side jobs to finance their project. By 2012, their wait was worth it with the launch of Snapchat. During May, statistics showed that the app was processing 25 images per second. This would continue to grow. In October, 20 Million images were shared per day, with 231 per second. By this point, their investment was worth it.

How Murphy Pioneered the App industry:

Even after launching Snapchat in 2012, Murphy has had a major hand in the development of Snapchat, along with the technical features behind the app. As a result of this Murphy has been the main driving force for innovation. Along with constantly innovating, Murphy has faced competition from competitors who aimed to emulate the success of Snapchat. In 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Poke, the app that aimed to target Snapchat’s demographic. Poke worked similarly to Snapchat, users could send photos, videos, poke and text Facebook friends that would expire within a few seconds of opening it. The Snapchat clone only lasted a year on App stores before being taken down by Facebook. Although the application didn’t last, it wasn’t the only time ideas from snapchat were implemented on other systems.

In 2013, Snapchat added Snap Stories. Stories were Snapchats that we could take and would be viewable for 24 hours by your friends. This idea was then introduced on Instagram in 2016, with their Insta-Stories. Stories have since carried over onto Facebook and Messenger.

After the success of stories, Snapchat introduced direct messaging. These messages were the same to photos in Snapchat. When you opened your message and closed it, the message would be gone forever. After a year, Snapchat allowed you to save messages. This became more practical as conversations could be reread if necessary.

Murphy the innovator: 

The biggest feature that was added by Murphy was filters. This came at a crucial time for snapchat, when users dropped to an all-time low. Filters seemed to reinvigorate snapchat. These filters introduced would change your face to a certain different look. On launch, the most popular was the bug eyed rainbow. Your eyes would be bug eyed, and when you opened your mouth, rainbows would come out of your mouth. It was an extremely strange concept that many users gravitated towards.

As competitors began to replicate filters, Snapchat then launched a free application in 2017 that allows users to create their own filters that can be used by anyone on launch. The creativity used by users to make their own filters was something unheard of. This managed to boost Snapchat above its competitors when it came to photo sharing. Snapchat often teams up with major studios to promote their films with unique filters that users can use, that give them a brief understanding of their film.

Throughout the cycle of Snapchat, Murphy has been leading the way in innovation, aiming to create the best app possible.

Private Life:

Murphy has always been one to stray away from the limelight, only doing a handful of interviews. Following his astounding success with Snapchat, Murphy has become one of the richest men in the world. In 2015, the entrepreneur was regarded as the 1,250th Richest Person in the world by Forbes. Murphy was also ranked the 15th richest entrepreneur under 40. He was also ranked #374 in Forbes’ 400. With that money comes some expensive houses as Murphy owns multiple properties including a recent acquisition of another Pacific Palisades home.

Murphy’s future for Snapchat:

Photo Credit: Business Insider

After conquering the App world, Murphy has aimed to change the way we view the world through his latest creation, The Spectacles. Since re-branding Snapchat to Snap Co., Murphy and Spiegel decided to create glasses called the Spectacles. These glasses are a new way to view the world. The spectacles have built in cameras that allows the user to capture videos and photos on the go through the glasses. In an interview with Fast Company, Murphy discussed the glasses and outlined that the Snap Labs have a long-term vision of the Spectacles.

” We have this long-term vision of computing overlays onto the world, and this idea that applications move from 2D screens out into the spatial and 3D space.” Murphy told Fast Company.

The Spectacles 3 are set to launch later in the year.

Snapchat started as an application where you could merely just send photos to you and your mates, but has since expanded to something special. It is now an application where you can connect with others, create content to share, read and create stories. Snapchat under the guidance of Bobby Murphy will continue to innovate and be the powerhouse it is today.

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