Connect with us

SOCIAL

Snapchat Adds 9 Million More Daily Active Users in Q2, Reports 17% Increase in Revenue

Published

on

Snapchat has reported its Q2 2020 performance update, showing increases in both users are revenue, and, in general, positive signs for the ongoing steady growth of the platform.

First off, on users, Snapchat added 9 million new daily active users for the quarter, and is now up to 238 million DAU.

Snapchat Q2 2020

As you can see from the charts, Snapchat is seeing the most growth in the ‘Rest of the World’ category, adding only 2 million and 1 million new users respectively in the US and European markets.

Much of that growth, says Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, can be attributed to improvements in how Snapchat runs on different devices.

As per Spiegel:

“We are continuing to invest in app performance and localization to make our service more accessible to people all over the world, with Snapchat now available to over two billion people in their native language. These efforts have helped us grow even faster in emerging markets like India, where we’ve seen over 100 percent growth in daily active users over the past year.”

India, which is now the second-biggest smartphone market in the world (behind China), is dominated by Android devices, which Snap, for a long time, had largely ignored. In 2018, Spiegel publicly acknowledged the issues with running Snapchat on Android, which many had suggested had impeded the app’s growth (and that Spiegel had ignored), and Snapchat launched a revamped Andoid app in 2019. Since then, adoption among regions like India has pushed the Snap’s growth higher – this time around, beating analyst expectations. 

But still, users in developing markets are not as lucrative as those in other regions.

Snapchat Q2 2020

The variable scales used in these graphs somewhat hides the fact that users in the ‘Rest of the World’ sector produced significantly less ARPU this quarter – down to almost a quarter of what North American users now generate.

See also  Josh Constine leaves TechCrunch for VC fund SignalFire

Still, more users provides more opportunity, and Snapchat’s revenue has grown 17%, YoY, bringing in $454 million for the quarter.

Snapchat Q2 2020

Given the current conditions, that seems like a solid result, but investors had been hoping for better numbers, and shares in Snap fell more than 6% in after-hours trading.

In his accompanying statements, Spiegel said that Snap is doing well, despite difficult market conditions.

“While our revenue growth rate continues to be impacted by ongoing market disruptions, the fundamentals of our business are strong, and the high levels of engagement on our service are backed by years of investment in our self-serve advertising platform, which is helping our partners achieve success and grow their businesses in this uncertain environment.”

Spiegel also noted that its seeing increased usage of its AR tools, with user time spent engaging with Lenses growing 37% year-over-year. 

Interestingly, a big chunk of that engagement is coming from community created AR experiences.

“Today Snapchatters play with Lenses created by our community six times as often as they did just last year, and these Lenses now drive more than a quarter of all Lens engagement on Snapchat.”

Snapchat has been working to better facilitate its AR creator community, with the addition of Creator Profiles last April, and improved discovery options to help creators maximize their on-platform presence. That approach has now also extended to brands, with Snapchat adding dedicated brand profiles earlier this month.

Snapchat brand profiles

That, Snap’s hoping, will help increase brand reliance on Snap – as per Snapchat’s Chief Business Officer Jerami Gorman:

“Brands are starting to invest in Snapchat beyond advertising by building fun, engaging, and useful experiences for Snapchatters. The launch of Brand Profiles this month is a key pillar of this future. Today, our focus is on giving Brands a home for all the innovative AR experiences that they create, alongside their Stories. In the future, we believe that Snapchatters will engage naturally with businesses of all sizes across our service.”

Spiegel also shared some more ‘so-high-it-feels-like-it-can’t-be-true’ data points to underline Snapchat’s growing reach and influence among younger audiences.

See also  Facebook’s Mandatory Change Coming Soon: Ad Set Budgets Are Going Away

“In the U.S., our platform reaches 90% of 13-24 year olds and 75% of 13-34 year olds. This audience is critical for advertisers as the Snapchat Generation develops lifelong habits, but also because young people are focused on driving change in the world and building a better future.”

At its partner summit last month, Spiegel noted that Snapchat now reaches more 13-34 year-olds in the US than Facebook or Instagram, which feels like an over-estimation, but maybe true at the same time? Like, it doesn’t seem possible that Snapchat can serve less than a quarter of Instagram’s total user base, yet still reach way more young people. But maybe? That’s what Snap says, either way.

In addition to this, Snap also says that its Snap Original have found their niche, with some seeing tens of millions of views.

“For example, Will From Home, which culminated in a Fresh Prince of Bel Air cast reunion, was watched by more than 35 million people. Snap Originals continue to attract audiences that rival those of top TV series, and have reached more than 75% of the US Gen Z population so far this year.”

It seems that younger audiences have warmed to the shorter, episodic nature of Snap Originals, which is a positive sign for the future of the app – especially if those reach figures are, indeed, correct.

Also, I did like this chart:

Snapchat Q2 2020

After slowing its investment on research and development last year, Snap added $9m in R&D spending last quarter, and another $17 million in Q2. What could they be working on? AR-enabled Spectacles maybe?

See also  Twitter tests a TweetDeck revamp it hopes to make a subscription product

Overall, it’s a mixed report for Snap – more users, more year-on-year revenue, but relative growth is difficult to judge in the current market conditions.

What is interesting in Snapchat’s case is that it’s been able to establish itself within its niche for more private social interactions with close friends.

When Snapchat rejected Facebook’s $3b takeover offer back in 2013, Zuck and Co seemed determined to ruin the then-fledgling competitor, and with the arrival of Instagram Stories in 2016, it looked like it may have done just that, with Snap’s growth grinding to a halt, and even declining in late 2018. But Spiegel and Co. have stuck to the app’s core use case, and while the most recent revamp is clearly designed to attract more users through more user-friendly controls, Snap’s growth has mostly come from being the anti-Facebook, the anti-Instagram. It’s not about sharing your interests publicly, it’s about maintaining more intimate friendships via the app.

With the broader trends of social engagement shifting towards enclosed sharing, Snapchat has ended up being ahead of the game – and while focusing on its niche will mean that it’s unlikely to reach a billion users, if Snap can continue to build, it can remain a viable platform moving forward. 

Socialmediatoday.com

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SOCIAL

Meta’s Developing and ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

Published

on

Meta's Developing and 'Ethical Framework' for the Use of Virtual Influencers


With the rise of digital avatars, and indeed, fully digital characters that have evolved into genuine social media influencers in their own right, online platforms now have an obligation to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps.

The coming metaverse shift will further complicate this, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraise for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million in the app.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that this is not an actual person, which makes such characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be utilized 24/7, and can be placed into any environment. But that also leads to concerns about body image perception, deepfakes, and other forms of misuse through false or unclear representation.

See also  Twitter Provides Notes on How People Can Take Action to Respond to Racial Inequality

Deepfakes, in particular, may be problematic, with Meta citing this campaign, with English football star David Beckham, as an example of how new technologies are evolving to expand the use of language, as one element, for varying purpose.

The well-known ‘DeepTomCruise’ account on TikTok is another example of just how far these technologies have come, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where they could be used to, say, show a politician saying or doing something that he or she actually didn’t, which could have significant real world impacts.

Which is why Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because while there is potential for harm, there are also beneficial uses for such depictions.

Imagine personalized video messages that address individual followers by name. Or celebrity brand ambassadors appearing as salespeople at local car dealerships. A famous athlete would make a great tutor for a kid who loves sports but hates algebra.

Such use cases will increasingly become the norm as VR and AR technologies are developed, with these platforms placing digital characters front and center, and establishing new norms for digital connection.

It would be better to know what’s real and what’s not, and as such, Meta needs clear regulations to remove dishonest depictions, and enforce transparency over VI use.

But then again, much of what you see on Instagram these days is not real, with filters and editing tools altering people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal, or realistic. That can also have damaging consequences, and while Meta’s looking to implement rules on VI use, there’s arguably a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images as well.

See also  The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes in 2020 [Infographic]

That’s a more complex element, particularly as such tools also enable people to feel more comfortable in posting, which no doubt increases their in-app activity. Would Meta be willing to put more focus on this element if it could risk impacting user engagement? The data on the impact of Instagram on people’s mental health are pretty clear, with comparison being a key concern.

Should that also come under the same umbrella of increased digital transparency?

It’s seemingly not included in the initial framework as yet, but at some stage, this is another element that should be examined, especially given the harmful effects that social media usage can have on young women.

But however you look at it, this is no doubt a rising element of concern, and it’s important for Meta to build guardrails and rules around the use of virtual influencers in their apps.

You can read more about Meta’s approach to virtual influencers here.





Source link

Continue Reading

SOCIAL

Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

Published

on

Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps


Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

See also  The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes in 2020 [Infographic]



Source link

Continue Reading

SOCIAL

Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

Published

on

Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

See also  Twitter tests a TweetDeck revamp it hopes to make a subscription product

Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.



Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending