Technology Snapchat continues to sputter

09:23  08 november  2017
09:23  08 november  2017 Source:   CNET

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The social network saw growth slow as it took a loss of million to account for unsold Spectacles. CEO Evan Spiegel promises a big redesign ahead. View article: Snapchat continues to sputter – CNET.

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Snap takes a huge tumble posting a $443 million loss in the third quarter.© Provided by CNET Snap takes a huge tumble posting a $443 million loss in the third quarter. Snapchat's growth just slowed to a crawl.

Snap, the company behind the social network, saw daily active users climb by 5 million in the third quarter -- just 3 percent growth from the second quarter and 17 percent from a year ago -- bringing the total to 178 million.

That trails the 300 million daily users on rival Instagram stories. Instagram's parent, Facebook, boasted a year-over-year 16 percent growth rate, but off a base of more than 2 billion users.

The numbers illustrate the fact that Snapchat still faces stiff competition from Facebook and Instagram. While Snapchat has been successful in attracting younger users, it remains a mystery to a broader audience. Its array of filters and the idea of disappearing messages presents an intimidating barrier for people trying it out.

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On the other hand, Facebook's Instagram Stories continues to grow at an impressive clip.

"One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback," Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said Tuesday in a prepared statement, adding that the company is planning a redesign to make the application easier to use.

"We don't yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application," Spiegel said. "We're willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial longterm benefits to our business."

More bad news: Snap also took a $40 million charge to write down unsold Spectacles. Spiegel said the company made the "wrong decision" based on the early sales traction. "We're learning from it and plan to avoid a similar mistake in the future," he said during an earnings call with analysts.

Snapchat outage prompts complaints on Twitter

  Snapchat outage prompts complaints on Twitter Snapchat faced a worldwide outage for at least four hours on Monday, prompting a flood of complaints on rival mobile application Twitter a day before posting its third quarterly earnings as a public company. "We're aware of the issue and working on a fix," Snapchat said on its support Twitter account, recommending that users stay logged on. (http://bit.ly/2AgZCnj)Many users tweeted about being unable to sign on after logging off the app, which is popular among people under 30 for posting pictures that are automatically deleted within 24 hours.

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The company reported a loss of $443.2 million, or 36 cents a share. Excluding one-time items, Snap lost 14 cents a share, narrower than the average analyst estimate of a loss of 15 cents a share, according to Yahoo Finance.

A year ago, the company lost $124.2 million, or 15 cents a share.

Snap's revenue rose more than 60 percent, to $207.9 million, but still fell far below analysts' expectations of $239.5 million. Despite that, Spiegel said the company now reaches 70 percent of the key 13- to 34-year-old population in the US, UK, France and Australia.

"Our audience may not be the largest today, but we feel that it is the most strategic, and that's a really strong base to grow from," he said. "We're not afraid to make changes in the best interest of growing the user base."

Last month, research firm eMarketer anticipated Snap's global advertising revenue would hit $774.1 million this year, markedly down from its previous estimate of $900 million. However, eMarketer expects revenue to grow about 90 percent to $1.47 billion in 2018.

Snapchat's huge redesign will reportedly arrive next month

  Snapchat's huge redesign will reportedly arrive next month By its own account, Snapchat isn't attracting anywhere near the amount of users it should be. To ensure its app isn't fully eclipsed by Instagram, it's planning a major redesign that will make the notoriously difficult service "easier to use." Although CEO Evan Spiegel said the revamp would focus on Story playback and surfacing original shows, he stopped short of announcing a launch date. Regardless, we now have a tentative ETA, courtesy of Business Insider's sources. The update will reportedly land on December 4th and (naturally) will bring with it some major changes.

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"Despite all of its improvements in ad products and measurement, Snapchat remains in the experimental bucket for many marketers," the firm said. "They give it high marks for its creative possibilities and its ability to attract a youth audience, but many have yet to make it a must-buy."

Meanwhile, Snap's stock remains well below its post-initial public offering peak price of $29.44 as shares have declined nearly 40 percent since going public. Shares fell more than 18 percent to $12.40 in after-hours trading.

First published Nov. 7, 1:38 p.m. PT

Update, 5:04 p.m.: Adds comments from Evan Spiegel.

Instagram Stories adds no-frills photo-only posting from mobile web .
Instagram really wants the developing world on Stories.They won't be able to use Instagram's augmented reality masks or doodling, but starting today mobile web users can post to Instagram Stories. Previously, mobile web users could only view Stories, which have to be created in Instagram's native apps. But now users can snap photos and videos, overlay text captions, and share them with friends from mobile web, as well as Save posts they find in the feed and want to revisit later.Coming to everyone in the next few weeks, users will see a camera icon in the top left corner they can tap to shoot or upload a photo for their Story.

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