Snap Shares Surge On The Back Of Growth In Users And Revenue

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Snapchat has reported surging growth in users and revenue in its latest quarter, reviving hopes that it can compete with Facebook's Instagram and sending its shares up more than 20%.

The company's Q4 revenue jumped 72 percent year-over-year, while Snap's full year revenue was up at $824.9 million, increasing 104 percent year-over-year. The company saw steady growth in North America at a faster rate than Facebook.

Snap posted its results for the fourth quarter of 2017 and it ended the year with solid stats. The company's revenue for the quarter was up 62.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Snap Inc will post -3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year. Daily users grew 18 percent year-over-year. Not only that, the more competition for Snapchat's inventory, the more bigger brands may need to spend to reach a wide swath of people, since smaller brands are typically willing to pay more per ad to reach a smaller but more specific audience (provided Snapchat continues to prove it has enough users and ad-targeting chops for brands to reach those small, specific audience segments). The figure surpassed analyst's expectations of 184.2 million users.

Snapchat's daily active users rose to 187 million in the quarter that ended December 31 from 178 million in the third quarter, beating analysts' average expectation of 184.2 million users, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. The firm had revenue of $207.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $236.71 million.

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Spiegel explained the changes to investors: "Our advertising business changed profoundly over the past year as we migrated the sale of our Snap Ads to an automated auction".

Instagram, with more than twice the number of daily users of Snapchat and backed by financing from Facebook, had threatened to stamp out its rival by copying features such as photo filters and disappearing slide shows. However, the company, based in Venice, California, said customers were now remaining longer on its Android version, after bugs in the software were fixed, and advertisers have taken to an advertising system that is auction based that makes it less expensive and easier to purchase ads. For its fiscal fourth quarter, New Relic said revenue will be between $95 million and $96.5 million with non-GAAP earnings of 4 cents a share to 5 cents a share. Snap seems to have reversed the pattern of falling user growth seen in previous quarters, with 187m active users on Snapchat reported in Q4 - 18pc higher than the same period for a year ago. The lack of reach now offered by Snapchat, especially outside of North America, remains a limiting factor for marketers looking to leverage the platform's full potential.

Snapchat recently revealed to TechCrunch that it rolled a "Do Not Disturb" feature into its app of the same name a few weeks ago. However, in order to keep growing their user base, Snapchat needs to make sure they maintain the quality and relevance of their content, especially as they try to size up to Instagram.

That said, "there is still something very appealing about the passion of Snapchat users for the platform, where we see it as the channel of choice primarily for Generation Z", Baer conceded.

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