That’s right. Snapchat, that app you probably forgot about, is on fire right now. The social media company’s stock jumped nearly 24% after reporting its biggest growth quarter in four years last week Thursday. To top it off, daily active users reached 293 million this past June, marking an annual increase of 23%, while their revenue more than doubled to $982 million.

So why the sudden surge in earnings and public interest? For one thing, the lift on lockdowns and travel restrictions has done wonders for them. The app has massive appeal for people who are making digital travel diaries abroad and want to show off to their friends.

Another reason for Snapchat’s bankability is the digital ad boom they are experiencing as a result of the improvements they have made to their ad offerings and their higher digital ad spending. This has piqued the interest of several brands that are willing to pay top dollar for some product placement on the platform.

And Snapchat is also investing heavily in augmented reality (AR). And they are doing this with the end goal of allowing all Snapchat users to shop and virtually try on clothing en masse using their AR technology.

The evolution

Snapchat’s bounce-back story is one thread in the grander tapestry of the evolution of social media companies. More and more of these companies are diversifying their offerings. As was mentioned earlier this month, Facebook and Twitter have recently jumped on the bandwagon of social audio. And Twitter, in particular, now even provides newsletters and tip jars in addition to live audio. Not to be outdone, Facebook has also announced plans to expand the scope of their services, though they are tightlipped on what this will mean exactly.

Another major force driving this social media evolution is, unsurprisingly, the success of Tik Tok. The bread and butter of Tik Tok has namely been their function of turning users into creators of content. And the other major social media players are looking to cash in on this creator trend. Snapchat, for one, was paying $1 million per day to creators on its TikTok-clone Spotlight at one point, and Facebook is paying $1 billion to creators through 2022.