Snap’s long road back from the brink

Snap’s blowout earnings caps off an incredible two-year comeback.


October 26, 2020

Snap has been on a wild ride as a public company.

The first few years after its 2017 public debut, the company was mired in declining user growth due in part to the most egregious rip-off in recent corporate history: IG Stories.

This was followed by Snap’s short-lived Spectacles experiment.

Things got real weird in mid-2018: amid dismal stock performance, the company held a shareholder meeting that lasted 166 seconds (LOL).

The pandemic looked to worsen matters

Initially, advertisers cut spending, dimming the outlook for social media companies. But more time at home has meant more time for devices and — with big advertisers leaving Facebook — Snap was primed to benefit.

And it did.

Last Tuesday, Snap reported +52% YoY revenue growth, with a +18% YoY uptick in daily active users to ~250m.

$SNAP rose 50%+ last week on the news and the company — which was worth less than $7B in late 2018 — sports a market cap of $64B.

Snap was building a beast right before our eyes

Investor (and meme lord) Turner Novak’s review of the June 2020 Snap Partner Summit noted that Snap reaches 75% of the US population between ages 13-34, totaling 78m users — more than Instagram or Facebook.

Novak further highlighted Snap’s impressive engagement:

  • Snap Kit — which allows 3rd party apps to integrate Snap features (e.g., Bitmojis) — has 800 integration partners and 148m monthly users
  • Snapchat camera and its augmented reality (AR) tools are very popular, with 135m users creating AR with the camera daily
  • Snapchat Discover had 100m+ viewers over the past year, more than Netflix’s 70m+ subscribers

Despite the noise, CEO Evan Spiegel & Co. have been diligently working on these features for years and it clearly paid off.

Good news for other social media firms

Snap’s latest earnings suggest the beginning “of a recovery from brand advertisers,” per the company’s chief business officer.

This is great news for the smaller social networks: Pinterest (+20%) and Twitter (+10%) were both up last week on the Snap news.

What a ride.

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