I’d never heard of “snap” before, and I’m not sure I understand what it’s trying to do. Is it just a lazy way to publish closed source software on Linux? I really don’t see why I’d choose a snap over using my regular package manager.
Yes and no. Snaps are the last of many tries to have a single, uniform package format among a lot of different Linux distributions. They can be installed on *buntu, debian, arch, fedora, opensuse, …. They also offer built-in sandbox.
You are correct that a lot of propritiatory software is using it to distribute packages because it saves some time, but that’s not the main goal of the format.
Snaps are the last of many tries to have a single, uniform package format among a lot of different Linux distributions.
Unfortunately, there are at least three competing standards (Snap, Flatpak, AppImage). However, Flatpak seems to be supported in more distributions than Snap:
Regardless of what one thinks of such formats, they have already lead to interesting phenomena. Flatpak is, for instance, quite popular among pirates who use it to pack Windows games with a custom Wine configuration:
Then there is the Winepak project, which packages redistributable Windows software:
There is some strange things about snap: https://medium.com/@acam/im-afraid-for-the-future-of-ubuntu-2f41796073b2
Think docker for desktop apps. With all of the good and the bad it implies.