Snap Inc crackles and pops with Q1 revenues of $320m

24 Apr 2019

Snapchat app. Image: TPOphoto/Depositphotos

A little bit of deft engineering magic is seeing Snap’s user base grow again.

Snapchat maker Snap Inc has reported first-quarter revenues of $320m, up 39pc year on year from $230m in 2018.

Crucially, the company that many had prematurely begun to write off, is back to growing its user base, with daily active users up 2pc to 190m compared with 186m in Q4 2018. However, this is still down from 191m in Q1 2018.

‘As we look towards the future, we see many opportunities to increase our investments’

The company said it currently reaches 90pc of 13- to 24-year-olds in the US.

A design for life

A not-so-well-received redesign hurt Snapchat’s user growth last year. But it has emerged that a so-called ‘Project Mushroom’, which introduced ‘lite’ features for Android users in India and developing markets, resulted in a 6pc spike for users with basic devices in those markets. The features have since been introduced in core markets, no doubt helping user growth.

The new app is 25pc smaller, opens 20pc faster on average, and is modularised for more efficient, ongoing innovation by the company. Innovations introduced in the past quarter include Snap Games, augmented-reality functions and new features for Snap Kit, for the company’s app partners to build for the features on the platform.

The company also continued to add new Snap Original Shows with 10 mobile shows that are due to begin airing in May including The Dead Girls Detective Agency, Endless Summer and Deep Creek.

Net losses at the company were reduced by $75m from last year to $310m.

“In the first quarter we delivered strong results across our business with growth in daily active users and revenue,” said Evan Spiegel, CEO.

“Our new Android application is available to everyone, with promising early results.

“This month we announced several new products that we believe will drive further engagement and monetisation. As we look towards the future, we see many opportunities to increase our investments, and will continue to manage our business for long-term growth.”

Snapchat app. Image: TPOphoto/Depositphotos

Updated, 9.30am, 24 April 2019: This article was amended to clarify that Snap Inc’s net loss for 2019 was $310m, not $75m. The figure was down $75m from the previous year.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years