It wasn’t the day Snap Inc — the parent company of Snapchat — had planned. In its first quarterly earning report after going public in March, the company saw growth slipping to its lowest in the past two years, reporting 166 million users at a growth rate of a mere 5 per cent. Snap’s year-over-year growth rate fell to 36 percent year-over-year from 48 percent in the fourth quarter last year, TechCrunch reported on Thursday. After the results, Snap shares fell immediately, trading nearly $18.19 which is the lowest since it went public. The co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy each lost more than $1 billion.
Snap added just three million new users in north America to hit 71 million daily active users (DAU). The company added three million in Europe to hit 55 million DAUs. In the “Rest of World” region, it added just one million users to reach 40 million DAUs. Its nearest competitor Facebook-owned Instagram currently has 700 million users, with its “Stories” feature having 200 million daily active users.
“Snap is emerging as the new stubborn, slow-growing Twitter amidst similar Facebook competition and reluctance to filter its feed that Twitter exhibited four years ago,” the report added. On its first earnings call, CEO Spiegel focused on highlighting the company’s progress in Android development.
He said that improvements to the performance of the Android app led Snapchat to double the amount of net additional Android devices on the network, and Android accounted for 30 percent of net additional users in the quarter.
On Facebook, Spiegel said you have to expect people are going to copy you. “Just like how Google forced companies to develop their own search strategies, Snapchat is forcing competitors to develop a camera strategy,” he added.
That Facebook is going after Snapchat is not news, but the battle has now become somewhat ugly. At its recently concluded F8 developer conference in San Jose in the US, CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched “Camera Effects Platform” to encourage augmented reality (AR) effects.
It is Snapchat which has popularised animated AR selfie masks and facial filters. Facebook has also added Snapchat-style “Stories” and camera special effects to all its core social apps: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Facebook has also added Geostickers to Instagram, offering location-specific tags in two cities (New York City and Jakarta) that users can paste over images. Snapchat launched Geofilters back in 2014. Originally launched by Snapchat, the “Stories” feature shows photos and videos shared in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours.