Snapchat has received $538 million from investors, bringing the company value up to and passed $16 billion – showing just how powerful the photo-messaging service has become.

Snapchat is the photo-messaging service that has managed to get the attention of everyone in the tech space. Their product is featured on almost every smartphone that is operated by anyone under 30 years old, and has become a cultural phenomenon over the course of the last two years. This is impressive because as a messaging service, it has to compete with names like Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp and many others, and as far as ability to share photos, there is a time limit and significant crowd restrictions, as to who can actually post, and who can view – but it would appear as though it doesn’t matter.

This latest round of investing means that Snapchat has surpassed the $600 million mark. That being said though, industry insiders and analysts believe that the company has a lot further to go. Tejas Mehta of Parks Associates, one of those research firms, points out, “They’ve seen a phenomenal growth, but they need to take the next steps to compete with the other players.” This isn’t a scattered opinion, either. By and large, this is the consensus amongst most people who use the app.

One of the areas where users and investors felt as though there was room for improvement was where the company currently sells short ads, and includes featured stories. Also to that, there was a lot of talk leading up to the introduction of news content, which has gone over incredibly well, too. All of this being said though, the major pull is young adults and teenagers. It’s about attracting more users beyond the crowd that currently is consumed by the network and this will give them an opportunity to do that.

See Also: Anthology: Facebook allies New York Times, Vox Media to deliver video ad content.

It remains to be seen what specifically Snapchat has in mind for updates and changes. If they make big enough changes that users feel like a profound difference has been made – then it’s possible that something major could be up Snapchat’s sleeve. That being said though, users shouldn’t expect anything blockbuster at this very moment, given that the funding has only begun to come through.

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