Snapchat user growth stalls in disappointing earnings call

Snapchat was the social media darling of 2016, but an underwhelming first earnings report has revealed stuttering user growth.

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Snap Inc. has released its first ever earnings report, and the results paint a less than stellar picture for Snapchat user growth.

The ephemeral camera app enjoyed a fine 2016, with a Mashable article headlined ‘How Snapchat won the social war of 2016’ reflecting the general consensus that Snapchat was set for a big future.

However, the highly anticipated earnings report reveals that just eight million new users have been added over the past three months. This was fewer than analysts had been expecting and leaves the app on 166 million daily active users.

Snapchat users

In contrast, Instagram Stories – seen as a direct competitor and indeed a clone of Snapchat – has raced to 200 million daily active users since its launch in mid-2016.

In an effort to draw attention away from the stuttering growth, the report highlights Snapchat’s impressive engagement stats. More than 3 billion snaps are uploaded daily, while a year-on-year increase in daily users of 36 per cent suggests solid albeit declining growth.

Despite underwhelming performance, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel insisted the company will not pursue “growth hacking” techniques in order to kick-start its listless user base.

“It’s an easy way to grow daily actives quickly but we don’t think those techniques are sustainable over the long term and it impacts our relationship with customers,” he said.

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