Snapchat, the popular app known for letting users send photos that disappear after a few seconds, announced Tuesday that its users are now sending more than 150 million pictures per day.
Evan Spiegel, one of the app's founders, announced the impressive tally at a mobile technology conference held by AllThingsD on Tuesday. By comparison, Snapchat said that its users were sending 20 million photos a day in October, and currently the users on Instagram, a photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, are sending 40 million photos a day, according to the company's media page.
The growth is astounding for the Venice start-up, but there are questions about its future prospects.
"Clearly, usage has exploded, but that doesn't necessarily mean revenue or long-term growth will follow," said Clark Fredricksen, vice president of eMarketer, a research firm.
Currently, Apple and Android users can download the app for free to send self-destructing images and videos. At no point does the app charge them for the service, and there are no ads, so it's unclear how Snapchat could generate revenue from its service.
It's also unclear if Snapchat will have staying power.
"Some of these companies have exploded and been very bright in a short period of time and then burn out very quickly," Fredricksen said, citing start-up apps Foursquare and Pinterest as examples. "The idea of images that self-destruct, it's unclear if that will take hold in the long term."