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How Snapdex fixed search and discovery on Snapchat - An interview with Snapdex's founder

The founder of Snapdex recently did a TV interview and we thought it would be interesting to share some of the questions and answers that came up during the interview. Prepare for an inside look at Snapdex, with some interesting tidbits along the way.

So tell us what Snapdex is all about?

Suppose you want to find new Snapchat accounts to follow, maybe you're looking for a specific celebrity to follow, or you're looking for doctors who are using Snapchat, or simply you just want to see what's out there - who is using Snapchat? Well, Snapchat doesn't make it very easy to search and discover these accounts that you would be interested in. 

That's why we've built Snapdex.com, which is basically a searchable directory of Snapchat users. 

You can browse around and for example look at the list of popular snapchat accounts. You can also search by categories if you're looking for a particular topic, such as Entrepreneurship for example. And you can also search by location, in case you want to see only Snapchatters from a certain place, such as Los Angeles for example. 

And one more interesting thing is that there's a dedicated profile of each user on Snapdex. On their profile, besides their Snapchat username obviously, you can find out who this person is and you can see some snaps that they've posted on their Snapchat story. That way, you get a better idea of what kind of content this user posts on Snapchat.

Finally, if you want to add your Snapchat account to Snapdex to get more exposure for your account, you can do that as well. You can just easily create your own profile and get listed on Snapdex. So yeah, that's kind of how it works.

What's the story behind Snapdex, how did you come up with the idea?

Snapdex came to existence a few years ago (in 2016) when I got hooked on Snapchat, really. I used to follow these accounts from well-known technology entrepreneurs, one of them was Justin Kan, who founded the video streaming platform Twitch. He used to post these Snapchat stories with a lot of really useful advice for entrepreneurs, and I loved it so much that I wanted to find more people like him. So I started Googling for lists of Snapchat users, but it was really hard to find anything back then, there was nothing out there. So then I thought, why don't I just make it myself? I'll be solving my own problem, and eat my own dog food, as they say. I was pretty sure that I wasn't the only one who had difficulties searching or discovering interesting Snapchat accounts to follow.

Can you briefly tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm Laurent, I'm a tech entrepreneur from Belgium. I build technology products, it's really what I enjoy the most. I started making websites not long after I got introduced to the internet. I've got quite a list under my belt since then. Snapdex is one of the most popular websites I've built, though I've had some other successes as well. At the moment, besides running Snapdex, I'm working on a stealth project in the finance space.

Are you working on Snapdex alone?

It's really just a personal side project that became more popular than expected. I manage the day to day support and make sure things keep running smoothly, technically speaking. My wife helps a lot with content curation - she regularly adds well-known Snapchat accounts to the website. And along the way, I've had a lot of help from friends who helped on the development side of things as well as the marketing side.

Who creates the content on the website?

All content on the website is curated manually. Most of the celebrity and brand profiles are added by myself and my wife who regularly helps to add new profiles to the website. Of course, anyone can add themselves on the website as well if they want to promote their Snapchat account.

And we have some special functionality on the site that allows anyone to improve the content that's already on the site. Think of it like Wikipedia where people can contribute to articles, well, on Snapdex people can contribute to profiles. So they can update the text, or add snaps that they've screenshotted on Snapchat. So it's really a collaborative effort.

What kind of profiles are there on Snapdex?

We have a lot of personal profiles from people who're looking to promote their account. Otherwise we have a lot of brands and celebrities, from music artists to movie stars. Beauty and make up artists are also popular on Snapchat - but there's really anything for anyone. We even have doctors who broadcast their surgeries on Snapchat.

How popular is the site?

We have a bit more than 3000 unique visitors coming to the website every day. And it really keeps growing - in terms of visitors it has pretty much doubled over the last year.

Do you have a mobile app?

No we don't have a mobile app yet but the website has been optimized to look good on the web browser even when you're using a mobile or a tablet device. But if you really want to have an icon on your phone's homescreen for Snapdex, that's possible too. For example on Google Chrome for Android, when you go to snapdex.com, and go to the settings, there's an option called "Add to homescreen" which will install Snapdex as an app on your homescreen, and it pretty much behaves exactly like a native app.

What are your favorite Snapchatters?

I like DJ Khaled, he's fun to watch and always comes up with these inspiring motivational phrases. I also like to watch Dan Bilzerian for his rich lifestyle and his extravagancy. And to name one more, there's Ed Bassmaster who's famous for doing prank videos on Youtube, and he posts some everyday pranks on his Snapchat as well.

That is all. Hope you enjoyed the interview! Happy Snapchatting!

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Snapdex

Snapdex is a directory of Snapchat users. It let's you easily discover new people on Snapchat that may be of interest to you. It does so by providing a searchable database of interesting people who use Snapchat, including their username, snapcode, some snaps, related accounts, and more, giving you a better glimpse of what's out there.

Snapchat is full of interesting people who produce unique content exclusively to Snapchat (Justin Kan, Mark Suster to name a few). We wanted to find more people like them, but there's nothing really good out there to help you discover new Snapchat accounts, so we made Snapdex!

We are aware there are a couple other sites out there, but we wanted to make something that's 10x better than the competition. The site is fully user-editable, just like on Wikipedia, and includes categories and location for filtering, and snaps and reviews to learn more about a certain Snapchat account. We would like to make Snapdex the de-facto platform to discover …