Latest news from Snapchat Inc. from the Q3 earnings report. Although they’re growing slower as expected (4.5 million new users in Q3) they implemented many features which other apps can’t keep up with. Especially the augmented reality features are insanely well done. It’s something which is much more used on Snapchat than on Instagram, as many perceive Instagram as the more serious / mature platform. Snapchat is reaching a lot of the young audience. As Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, said on the Q3 report: «For example, we now reach over 70 percent of the 13 to 34 year-old population in the US, France, the UK, and Australia. However, in order to further scale our user base, we need to accelerate the adoption of our product among Android users, users above the age of 34, and users in the Rest of World markets. This means that we will have to make some changes to our product and business.». They will focus on user growth, good content and augmented reality. Concerning the latter: a lot of innovations will be possible and maybe be a game-changer for Snapchat.
Additionally the platform gets into a direction, in which it will be the gateway to new forms of media such as news shows or online drama / reality shows. Spiegel mentions the professional journalism on the app: «it continues to play an important role on Snapchat, and provides important context to user-submitted Snaps. Stay Tuned, a twice-daily Show produced by NBC, reached over 12 million 13 to 24 year-old viewers in the United States in September, making it one of the most popular news shows for young people in the country, almost overnight.».
As part of the redesign I mentioned earlier, we are going to make it easier to discover the vast quantity of content on our platform that goes undiscovered or unseen every day. We think that there is a big opportunity to surface some of this content in a personalized and more relevant way, while still maintaining the exploratory nature of our service.
As Evan Spiegel also mentioned, Snapchat plans on redesigning the whole application to make it easier to understand: «There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application. We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long- term benefits to our business.».
I have written about the fight between Instagram and Snapchat more than a year ago and this fight has become more and more interesting. That each one copies from the other should have become clear during 2017. It is going to be interesting how Snapchat will evolve in the next 6-12 months. Some say they will come out with a completely disruptive feature which drives everyone crazy, while others say, Mark Zuckerberg will go in again (or someone else) and buy Snapchat, as Snapchat is clearly under pressure.
Although Instagram has much bigger daily user base (500 millions) we shouldn’t leave Snapchat behind. A new feature or a their redesign might be a big gamechanger and suddenly more and more people are (re)starting to use Snapchat.