As college students, any prospect of earning money is enticing for us, regardless of the amount. Well, hold your breath because Snapchat is offering undergraduates from Stanford University who are fresh out of school a sizable sum of $500,000 to work for them. Yes, you read that right. It’s hard to believe an application that functions without any concrete revenue has so much to offer. Although free on the Apple App Store, according to the Wall Street Journal, the application is valued at $10 billion.
Now, before the entire Stanford Class of 2015 gets ready to head over to Los Angeles, let’s make it clear that Snapchat is looking specifically for software engineers. Furthermore, even though you would technically be a millionaire on paper very quickly, you wouldn’t actually be receiving a lump sum of the $500,000. This payment would be broken down into a salary of roughly $150,000 and stock grants of $300,000 spanning over four years, as well as a generous signing bonus of $25,000. While learning this may have reduced your enthusiasm, the salary Snapchat offers is way above the average starting salary of an undergraduate new to the job market, which is about $45,000.
The sheer amount of money Snapchat is putting on the table makes it easy to forget any questions that one might have. But why are they offering SO much money? Even an experienced software engineer elsewhere would make a lot less than $500,000.
According to its LinkedIn profile, Snapchat has about 200 employees, a shockingly small number for an application over which 350 million photos are shared daily. Seeing as the app’s simple premise leads to low costs compared to other social media outlets out there, it’s unsurprising that they are willing to splurge on their highly dedicated, niche staff.
Furthermore, in January 2015, Snapchat began a new program labeled Discover. This update to the app allows users to view stories published by editorial companies such as CNN, Comedy Central, the Food Network and so on. Like any company with a basic business model, Snapchat charged the companies a whopping $750,000 per day to advertise on their platform. In the grand scheme of things, the $500,000 spread out over four years doesn’t seem to be a large expenditure for a company that benefits from such investments.
We all love to use Snapchat, and it sounds awesome to work in a company located in sunny California — the CEO’s are your age and like-minded, and you’re working with a bijou group of fellow employees. (And the $500,000 is pretty great, I guess).
However, according to Business Insider, at least one Stanford graduate thought differently, and favored a lighter offer to work with Facebook instead of Snapchat, as Facebook is considered less risky and is based in the Silicon Valley like the rest of the tech industry.
In the end, the application definitely feeds off the growing fad of the selfie culture, and in this ever-changing world, one cannot identify when a trend might suddenly die down.