This year’s best mobile app is Snapchat, at least according to the 2013 Crunchies Awards. The ephemeral photo and video messaging app beat out a tough crowd this year, including Mailbox, Tinder, VSCO Cam and WhatsApp. This is Snapchat’s second Crunchie, since it won fastest rising startup last year for its speedy early user growth.
Snapchat began in 2011 at Stanford, and the service took off, finding purchase not just among the usual early adopter crowd, but also with mainstream users. Snapchat was reportedly sending 400 million messages per day as of November, which is 8 times the volume of snaps that were being sent as of the end of 2012, when it won its fastest riser award at our show.
Co-founder Evan Spiegel accepted the award for the startup from TechCrunch writer Greg Kumparak, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo SVP of Mobile and Emerging Products Adam Cahan. The winner last year was Google Maps, which vaulted into the top spot based on its long-awaited release on iOS after it was removed from the default set of pre-installed applications by Apple in iOS 6.
Snapchat has indeed won the moment, and is riding high enough that Spiegel famously turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook for the app. So far, it seems like it’ll accrue a lot more than just 10 seconds of fame before it flames out, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to mature as a business from here.