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Snap Stock Crashes Over 20% as Net Losses Widen to $2.2 Billion

13 May 2017

Facebook has been bent on copying Snapchat ever since the social media giant tried unsuccessfully in 2013 to buy what was then an ephemeral photo-messaging app. As this chart from Statista shows, 46% of those users say they don't use Snapchat's chief rival, Instagram.

But it's not going so well.

Snap said its daily active users (DAUs) rose 36.1 percent to 166 million in the first quarter from a year earlier, marking a slowdown from the 47.7 percent rise for the fourth quarter and 62.8 percent jump for the third quarter that the company reported in its IPO filing.

Snap, which completed its initial public offering of stocks in March, is scheduled to hold its first quarterly conference call today to announce its first-quarter earnings for 2017. Facebook had similar costs of roughly $1.3 billion. However, ARPU decreased 14% since the fourth quarter of 2016 when the average revenue was $1.05. First-quarter revenue of $149.6 million also missed the $158.6 million average analyst estimate.

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While Levinsohn isn't very concerned about Snap's Q1 earnings report, which sparked a huge sell-off in shares, and thinks the losses were to be expected, he does have one concern. As a result, Snap's stocks took a awful beating, pushing shares down by 25 percent by the end of the day. And Instagram's Stories feature - which is trying to squash Snapchat by more or less ripping it off - is already said to have 200 million daily users itself. He said he's seen a lot of teens replace the telephone icon at the bottom of their phones' most-used apps with the Snapchat app.

The call marked Spiegel's debut as an executive publicly answering questions about his company, after much practice during Snap's IPO roadshow with investors behind closed doors.

Even as he was faced with the challenging prospect of confronting an angry mob of investors and analysts, however, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel still found time to throw shade at Facebook.

Levinsohn said Facebook's content is too oversaturated with news and other editorial content, and that he wants to see more updates from friends and family in his news feed.

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The fact that many Snapchat users are sticking with Snapchat is valuable.

Snapchat, like Facebook, is also experimenting with augmented reality, a blending of the virtual and physical worlds, but it's still hard to tell how that will make money or have broad appeal. "Just because Yahoo has a search box doesn't mean they're Google", he added, referring to the competition between the two internet-search companies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Company offers three ways for people to make Snaps: the Snapchat application, Publishers Tools that help its partners to create Publisher Stories, and Spectacles, its sunglasses that make Snaps. So Snapchat can either keep up with the younger generations and "their evolving behaviors and attitudes", or grow up with its original audience as it ages, said Jessica Liu, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Of course, Facebook presumably won't be far behind in copying that, either.

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