Snapchat loses users but gains big investment

Josh Miller  CNET

Josh Miller CNET

The company reported 188 million daily active users, falling short of analysts' expectations of about 193 million.

Snap lost about 1 million users in each of its three geographic reporting regions: North America, Europe and rest of world.

Snapchat's major redesign, first introduced towards the end of 2017, was also met with criticism by many users - including high-profile users such as Kylie Jenner - eventually forcing a further redesign.

Snapchat founder and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel blamed the decline in users on the redesign of Snapchat earlier this year.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi investor, disclosed a $250 million stake in Snap last night as the company reported an unexpected decline in users of its Snapchat app. Revenue was forecast at $251.2 million.

With self-service ads, Snap has been able to grow revenue in regions such as Australia and the Middle East, where direct sales efforts are more limited and advertisers have few other options to market to its mainly 18-34-year-old users.

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Shares of Snap bounced between gains and declines in extended trading following the report, after climbing less than 1 per cent to US$13.12 in NY.

The company behind Snapchat posted revenue of $262.3 million in the period, also topping the estimate of $247.2 million. "It has been approximately six months since we broadly rolled out the redesign of our application, and we have been working hard to iterate and improve Snapchat based on the feedback from our community".

Shares in Snap climbed more than 12 percent in after-hours trading before reversing course. Snap recently appointed a new chief financial officer, Tim Stone, who was previously at Amazon.com Inc. That's a drop of 2 percent, or 3 million users, since the last quarter, and marks the first time that user count has dropped in the company's corporate history. It will be interesting to see if this trend of desiring privacy in the modern era will continue, or if Facebook and Twitter are just waiting to pounce.

Snapchat rolled out a massive redesign to its app in November of past year that stirred quite a bit of controversy.

The company held its first annual shareholder meeting last week via a webcast that lasted three minutes, an unusual affair because its publicly traded shares do not carry voting power.

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