When Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, filed last month for a blockbuster $3 billion initial public offering, it was revealed that the young social network had also signed a $400 million-per-year deal with Google for cloud-computing services.
On stage at Wednesday’s Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco, Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt called Snap “the strongest IPO in tech in a long time” and explained how Google played a key role in Snapchat’s growth from its early days.
Amid Snapchat’s meteoric rise to fame, Schmidt said, “no one could figure out how they could do this with so little capital.” The answer, Schmidt said, “is that they used our infrastructure.”
Google Cloud offers pay-as-you-go access to fundamentally unlimited supercomputing power. With Google Cloud, Snapchat could quickly grow its services to meet demand while simultaneously taking advantage of its tremendous worldwide footprint to quickly roll out to users across the globe, Schmidt said.
Plus, Schmidt said, Snapchat was able to use Google’s range of cutting-edge technologies to quickly roll out new features, which reinforced its growth. In his only public interview, Snap cofounder Bobby Murphy said Google was key in its growth.
“So are you not planning to be like Snapchat?” Schmidt asked the conference crowd. With Google’s range of services, he said, “you may as well plan for global success and infinite demand.” And even if you’re going after a smaller, more regional customer base, “dream big,” he said.
- Hollis Johnson
Schmidt also called out the smartphone smash-hit app Pokémon Go, which was made by Niantic, a former Google subsidiary, and which hosts its services in Google Cloud, too. Schmidt credited Google Cloud with letting Pokémon Go launch globally amid tremendous demand.
“I’m quite convinced there was no other way to handle such a global phenomenon,” Schmidt said.
In general, Schmidt says his message is simple: “Just get to the cloud now. Just go there now. There’s no time to waste anymore.”