Then there's this little hurdle: Conventional digital advertising is all about targeting — and, at times, retargeting — with info collected about you from your browsing history. It's how Facebook and Google make a killing selling ads intended specifically for you. Spiegel, not surprisingly, has rejected that approach.
"We're going to stay away from building really extensive profiles on people," Spiegel told AdWeek last summer. "We have a really big business here that also respects the privacy of people who use Snapchat."
But Snapchat won't be the shiniest toy on Madison Avenue forever. Common sense tells us that eventually, perhaps sometime soon, Spiegel will need to make a decision about how "creepy" his company will be. And, yes, it will be Spiegel's decision to make, you can count on that.
All of this matters, sources say, because Spiegel is dead set on bringing Snapchat public someday. Some say he wanted to IPO in 2017. Others think it has been bumped to 2018 or later. Still others believe Snapchat could IPO tomorrow and it wouldn't give them a shock.
Regardless of when that happens, Snapchat's relationships with the entertainment and publishing industries will undoubtedly be key. And L.A. — not Silicon Valley — is where entertainment is king.
"I often talk with people about the conflicts between technology companies and content companies," Spiegel said during a conference keynote two years ago. "One of the biggest issues is that technology companies view movies, music and television as information. Directors, producers, musicians and actors view them as feelings, as expression.
"Not to be searched, sorted and viewed — but experienced."
Spiegel is building Snapchat into the new communication experience — and for now, the world seems more than happy to conform.
CNBC's parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code's parent Revere Digital, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.