Snapchat’s Major Updates Are Paying Off, Even If It Annoys Users

Talk about a comeback.


Snap Inc.’s latest quarter since going public has been quite the turnaround.

The parent company to the Snapchat app beat goals for its fourth quarter earnings after going public and struggling most of 2017.

During its Q4 earnings call on Tuesday, Snap announced it added 8.9 million daily users, and now has 187 million daily active users. The number is up from 178 million in Q3, and is the highest number of quarterly net adds since the third quarter of 2016.

The large jump in numbers is due to several factors, including a major redesign and an Android push.

“Our business really came together towards the end of last year and I am very proud of our team for working hard to deliver these results,” Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said in his prepared remarks. “We executed well on our 2017 plan to improve quality, performance, and automation, which removed friction from our advertising business and improved our application for the Snapchat community.”

According to Spiegel, these changes resulted in Snap’s annual revenue to grow by a whopping 104 percent from the prior year, and the news caused the company’s stock to jump nearly 30 percent during after-hours trading.

This reversal of fortune didn’t come without a major strategy overhaul by Snap.

During its last earnings call, the company promised the aforementioned redesign to attract older users and “simplify” the app. Snap has delivered on that promise within just three months, and the risky change paid off.

The news also comes during Snapchat’s latest major facelift, which has rolled out to select users in the UK, Canada, and Australia today.

While the company wouldn’t comment on the correlation between the redesign rollout and rise in user base, the success is apparent in the numbers. It’s also proof that its aggressive strategy doesn’t need gimmicky features like allowing users to broadcast footage live.

The redesign features a new “Friends” tab that displays a non-chronological feed, along with new Discover and Snap Groups sections. While the change is seeing some resistance from Snapchat’s young, loyal users, the company says they’ll end up enjoying it once they adjust.

“Updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in,” a Snap spokesperson tells Inverse.

Amid news of its successful quarter, Snap confirms that the new update is being made available globally in the upcoming Q1.