Snapchat Promising Potential Investors It Can Be The Next Facebook

Remember how Snapchat’s parent company quietly, and without fanfare, filed paperwork last month preparing to launch a $25 billion IPO? Well, to sell those public offerings initially, you need investors to want what you’ve got. So Snapchat is out to convince everyone that it can take the world by storm, just like its older internet cousin.

Snapchat and its 26-year-old founder are out to convince the money people that the popular app will one day be omnipresent and indespensable as Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The company is claiming it’s worth $20 to $25 billion right up front, and investors who buy in at the initial public offering are going to want to see a return on that investment. That means the company will need to be worth more than $25 billion in a relatively short timeframe in order for investors to stay happy.

To that end, Snap Inc. is hitting the road to convince investors of just how great it is, a millenial-targeting heatseeking missile of pure advertising revenue. Execs are hyping up the company’s daily active user base — more than 150 million people per day. Facebook currently has roughly 1.18 billion (yes, with a B) daily users, but those are obviously spread out over the whole globe. Snapchat, by contrast, is concentrated in wealthier countries in North America and Europe.

The comparison to Facebook in particular is an interesting one, though, since the two companies have been in a very visible feature-flinging back-and-forth competition for more than a year now.

Facebook tested self-destructing messages; Snapchat started letting users save some. Snapchat shuts down the ability to purchase puking rainbow filters; Facebook purchases a comapny that adds filters to Facebook photos.

Snapchat signs a streaming content deal with NBC Universal; Facebook seeks out original content deals with basically everyone else.

Facebook doubled down on its attempts to take Snapchat down a rung or two in the back half of the year, launching new Instagram features and new Facebook-based apps designed directly to target the ghostly competition.

We’ve been observing for months that it feels like social networks are slowly coalescing into a singularity, where all offer basically the same features — and, of course, where the headlining feature is always “original video.” By November, the two companies had gotten so similar that we wondered if Instagram was making Snapchat irrelevant.

So that — Facebook continually trying to be slightly more Snapchatty — is the background against which Snapchat is telling would-be investors that it can be the next Facebook.

As the WSJ notes, Snapchat’s founder turned down a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook for his business in 2013.