One of my favorite things to do on any given Saturday morning is to click through the Snapchat stories posted by friends. By doing so, I can instantaneously see the Friday night shenanigans of everyone from my best friend to that guy with whom I had math class in high school. However, my adoration for Snapchat extends beyond the stories to the filters. Some will distort your face, while others will make you puke rainbows or turn you into a puppy licking the cell phone screen. Either way, the filters make for some hysterical photos and videos that I enjoy sending to my friends with reckless abandon.

Snapchat, an app previously thought to only be used for sexting and sending silly pictures of your face, is now trying to be taken more seriously with Snapchat Live and Snapchat Discover. PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Snapchat, an app previously thought to only be used for sexting and sending silly pictures of your face, is now trying to be taken more seriously with Snapchat Live and Snapchat Discover. PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

In a Friday Vanity Fair article, writer Maya Kosoff asked, “Is Snapchat growing up?” The question itself concerns Snapchat’s recent developments in branding and advertisement. Kosoff wrote, “Today, advertisers can pay in the neighborhood of $250,000 for a ‘Live Story’ ad, or $50,000 to take over a publisher’s channel on Snapchat Discover.” For anyone not familiar with the app, Live Stories take users on a virtual journey through a particular event — most recently, New York Fashion Week and the Oscars.

Discover Stories showcase various publications and television networks including People Magazine, BuzzFeed, ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV and the like. Each individual story shows users video clips, funny photos or interviews, depending on the typical themes and content of the enterprise itself.

Evan Spiegel, the CEO and entrepreneur behind the app, has also made leaps to turn the company’s attention toward becoming increasingly profitable. In her article, Kosoff reports that, “Snapchat and Viacom just signed a multi-year deal that lets Viacom sell third-party ads that will run on Snapchat.”

This new business model works to elevate the both the status and credibility of the company itself. As Kosoff describes, “long gone are the days of media skeptics writing Snapchat off as a ‘sexting’ app.” As technological innovations continue to surge forward, Snapchat plans to hold its ground as a leading contender in the realm of social media. Personally, I’m excited to see what’s to come.

Since the app already allows you to easily talk with friends, view Live Stories from around the world and explore news in Discover, I can only imagine what new developments are in store. However, the app does still face fierce competition from sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the latter of which still boasts “1.04 billion daily active users.”

Spiegel, however, pointed out the pitfalls of Facebook’s videos compared to that of his own app. He argued that “[Snapchat’s] video views are more meaningful because users have to voluntarily watch its videos — unlike Facebook, which auto-plays videos and counts those as views.”

While contending against the infamous Mark Zuckerberg may not be the easiest feat, Snapchat already claims “100 million daily active users,” and I would be willing to bet that those numbers will continue to increase in light of recent developments and partnerships. For the time being, I will continue to enjoy distorting my face with the host of filters while patiently waiting for the app’s next big move.