During Thursday’s Investor Day event, Snap shared a handful of new stats about its company and teased its outlook. Notably, it said its social media app Snapchat has now grown to more than 750 million monthly active users. While the number falls far short of the roughly 2.96 billion monthly active users Facebook reported earlier this month, it’s ahead of others, including Pinterest, which recently said it reached 450 million monthly users.
However, it’s unclear where Snap stands against Twitter, which is no longer a publicly traded company following the acquisition of Elon Musk. In addition, Twitter’s pre-deal public numbers had used a different metric: Twitter’s own made-up metric called mDAUs, or revenue-generating monthly active users. This was meant to indicate the number of users on Twitter who would actually see its ads, Twitter had said. That number was 237.8 million as of final public revenue in July 2022, which was smaller than Snapchat’s now 375 million daily users.
TikTok, meanwhile, announced its milestone of 1 billion monthly active users in 2021 and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2022.
Additionally, Snap shared that of its 750 million monthly active users, 150 million were in North America. The company said it sees a path to reaching more than 1 billion people in the next two to three years.
At the event, Snap also teased its newer product offerings, including the 3D Snap Map and a recently launched feature called Communities. The latter is aimed at private groups where members can add friends and post to a shared Campus Story. The feature has launched with colleges and high schools and will roll out to more communities over time. To date, there are more than 1,400 colleges in the US with community access, Snap said.
It also touted the success of its $3.99/month paid plan, Snapchat+, which now reaches 2.5 million subscribers — a more accurate figure than the 2+ million announced during earnings.
Naturally, what investors want to hear is how Snap is doing in relation to the competitive landscape, including the threat of TikTok, how its investments in its advertising business will help drive growth, and whether it can offer any guidance going forward. That may come later in the day.
Snap said its primary near-term advertising focus is on direct response (DR) advertising, which accounts for about two-thirds of its revenue and is growing faster than its brand-oriented businesses. The DR platform was the key driver of its ad revenue compound annual growth of more than 50% in the five-year period ending 2021. It spoke of its investments in various ad technology and formats, including more traditional and newer technologies, such as AR, noting that it was working to improve the quality of engagement and conversions. It also said it was working to address the increased cost per action that resulted from the changes.
As part of its efforts, Snap said it would increase measurable conversions through improved relevance targeting and machine learning optimization.
It also shared that its TikTok competitor, Spotlight, attracts less than half of its total monthly active users as 300 million users engage with the feature each month. However, the company pointed out that engagement with this product was still growing. In the fourth quarter, the total time spent watching Spotlight more than doubled from the previous year, and Spotlight submissions were nearly 20% higher than in the same period.
In the first part of the event, Snap also shared a host of other metrics with investors, including some recently announced during earnings.
- The Snap community outside of North America and Europe has grown more than 80% since Q4 2020
- 95% YoY increase in daily new users who have 3 or more friends
- Snapchat users who talk to at least three friends over the course of a month retain more than 90% the following month on average
- Snapchat users share memories with friends an average of 280 million times a day
- During the 5 years after a user’s first year on the service, annualized retention averages about 90%
- American users open Snapchat on average nearly 40 times a day; More than 60% of users who open Snapchat every day create Snaps
- On average, more than 5 billion Snaps are created every day
- 88% of users who snap or chat with a friend will use the app every day for the next 7 days
- Snapchat’s card is used by more than 300 million users per month; Daily card users open the card an average of 6x per day
- In the fourth quarter, total time spent watching Spotlight more than doubled from the year before, and Spotlight submissions increased nearly 20% over the same period
- 2 out of 3 users use AR on a daily basis; More than 70% of users who download the app use AR during their first day using the app
- Number of users with at least 1 friend Story to watch is up 15% year over year
- Time spent per view in the US for both Creator Stories and Spotlight grew by “major” double-digit percentages in the fourth quarter compared to last year
- The number of Snapchatters who subscribed to new creators through Spotlight increased by 225% and the total number of daily subscriptions increased by 240%
- In India, time spent on Spotlight has more than tripled and time spent watching shows has increased by more than 55% by 2022
- Media partners in more than 20 countries, 10 languages, including NBCU, Disney/ESPN, Channel 4 and MBC, sports leagues such as the NFL and NBA, digital natives such as Team Whistle and Jellysmack, and news brands such as The Washington Post, Axios and Axel Springer.
- Spotlight reaches more than 300 million users per month
- As of 2021, more than 250 million users have used AR store lenses more than 5 billion times
- Over 300,000 creators and developers from Snap’s AR creator community have built over 3 million lenses