I have more than 7 years of experience in digital marketing, managed over $50,000 in ad spend on various social media networks and currently managing over 30 Social media assets for various clients. I keep myself abreast of newer and newer social media platforms and tools by reading prominent blogs in my area of expertise.
According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day. Since SnapChat does not reveal its official user count it is based on surveys and reverse engineering. A Pew Study Suggests That Snapchat Has 26 Million U.S. Users while a Study by Sumpto Finds 77% of College Students Use Snapchat Daily.
With such mind boggling numbers one is bound to think How SnapChat could have cut itself with such a large piece of the pie with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram already in the picture?
1. SnapChat offered to solve a different pain point than the existing social media platforms. Its unique in its offering of self destructing messages where users can indulge in far risque behavior without being judged as in the case of Facebook which takes us to the next point.
2. SnapChat capitalized on the need for privacy felt by users on Facebook, specially when everything you post on Facebook is Public by default unless you change it through the inline Privacy Selector on Facebook. With everybody's friends and family already on Facebook, users specially teens and those in early twenties, preferred to move to a newer network where they could be themselves without anybody watching, which takes us to the third point.
3. The Novelty factor of being an early user of the "cool new app that everybody is using" translated into word of mouth and more and more users started using the app to conform with peer pressure.
4. Ease of use of using a app made exclusively for Mobile platform as opposed to a Desktop platform as mobile is far more accessible and convenient which is the reason for Twitter's growth despite Facebook in its earlier days, Facebook;s ongoing acquisition of anything and everything mobile and massive valuations of startups like Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp.
In my opinion, these 4 factors combined together are the cause of a massive user base within a short period of time some of which are applicable to the rise of Vine and messengers like WeChat and WhatsApp as well. Notice that I call SnapChat's userbase "massive" as opposed to "solid" as you have as I think point 3 is far more potent and a majority of SnapChat's users will migrate to a newer app once it catches their fancy.
If you have any further questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you here: https://clarity.fm/gs.gill/expertise/use-facebook-ads-to-meet-your-business-goals