Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

Snap Inc. announced plans to cancel ongoing projects such as Snap Originals, in-app multiplayer games, HTML mini-apps built by outside developers, and future development of its Pixy selfie-camera drone — all part of a corporate restructuring that will include laying off about 20 percent of its more than 6,400 employees. The company, which operates the popular social media app Snapchat, is taking cost-cutting measures as it faces growing competition from TikTok and other rivals and challenges to its core digital advertising business. Continue reading Snap Canceling Projects and Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce

U.S. Firms Chase China’s WeChat in Bid to Build Super Apps

U.S. tech execs are experiencing app envy, with companies from Uber to PayPal and billionaires Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey setting their sights on building one-size-fits-all “super apps” to rival Tencent’s WeChat in China and SoftBank’s LINE in Japan. Where typical apps are built to do one thing really well, so-called super apps are generalists, which in theory means people will use them more often. Spotify and Snap have also expressed interest in super solutions, which have been popular in Asia since 2020 and are sparking new interest in the West. Continue reading U.S. Firms Chase China’s WeChat in Bid to Build Super Apps

Dire Snap Forecast Dampens Social Media, Digital Ad Sectors

Snap’s investor warning of slow growth ahead has sent shivers through the social media sector, the digital advertising industry, and Wall Street. Though the general messaging that supply chain issues coupled with the war in Ukraine is bad for business is not exactly news, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s message that “the macro environment has deteriorated further and faster than we anticipated when we issued our quarterly guidance last month” hit a nerve. Snap lost 43 percent of its market cap on Tuesday, with the social media sector showing signs of drag and analysts forecasting trouble ahead for ad-supported media. Continue reading Dire Snap Forecast Dampens Social Media, Digital Ad Sectors

Snap Adds Users, Boosts Revenue, Posts $360 Million Loss

Snap has grown daily users to 332 million, an 18 percent increase in Q1 according to an earnings report. The January through March period reflects a 38 percent year-over-year revenue increase, but also documents a net loss of $360 million. The deficit — attributed to digital advertising circumstances including Apple’s new privacy policies, the war in Ukraine and the effects of inflation — comes on the heels of Snap’s first-ever quarterly profit in Q4 2021. The Q1 results reflect “underlying momentum” against “a challenging operating environment,” said Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Continue reading Snap Adds Users, Boosts Revenue, Posts $360 Million Loss

Snapchat Debuts Mid-Roll Ads with Revenue-Share for Stars

Popular messaging app Snapchat has added a new way for its top creators to earn money on the platform, introducing mid-roll ads in public Stories. The feature is in U.S. beta testing now with an early set of Snap Stars, who will receive a share of the revenue generated from ads within their public Stories. “Stories lower the barrier to content creation and engagement, and we believe placing ads within a Snap Star’s public Story will allow an easier path to financial success,” Snap says of the program, which it plans to roll out commercially later this year. Continue reading Snapchat Debuts Mid-Roll Ads with Revenue-Share for Stars

Mixed Snapchat Picture Results in Stock Dive on Q3 Results

Snapchat is blaming Apple’s new digital advertising policy for what it predicts will be a slow Q4. Changes including an iOS rule letting users opt-out of ads make it difficult for advertisers to test campaigns and measure results, Snapchat claims. The prediction came as Snap Inc. released Q3 results, announcing $1.067 billion for quarterly revenue, just short of the $1.07 billion expected. Snap exceed its Q3 goal for daily active users, which hit 306 million, beating by 5 million its Q2 estimate. Despite a 57 percent revenue year-over-year increase, Snap stock value dropped significantly. Continue reading Mixed Snapchat Picture Results in Stock Dive on Q3 Results

Snapchat Offers Tools for Parents, AR Studio for Advertisers

In the wake of a Congressional inquiry regarding the safety of minors using online platforms, Snapchat is preparing to debut “family engagement” tools, according to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Speaking at WSJ Tech Live, Spiegel said the features will allow parents greater control as to how children use the service. Spiegel emphasized privacy as built-in to Snapchat, noting “we never market our service to people under the age of 13.” Keen to market to millennials and Gen Zers, Snap also announced this week it’s launching Arcadia, a global creative studio focused on developing augmented reality advertising and experiences for brands. Continue reading Snapchat Offers Tools for Parents, AR Studio for Advertisers

Apple Chief Exec Tim Cook Testifies in Trial with Epic Games

“Fortnite” creator Epic Games sued Apple over its 30 percent commission on all App Store transactions. That case is now in court, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook took the stand to defend his company against accusations of monopolistic behavior. On the sidelines are other companies with the same grievance and the European Union, which also charged Apple with violating antitrust rules with the App Store. In an hour of testimony, Cook stated that commissions from app developers help the company create better App Store security. Continue reading Apple Chief Exec Tim Cook Testifies in Trial with Epic Games

Snap Introduces Augmented Reality Spectacles for Creators

During last week’s Snap Partner Summit 2021, Snap showcased Spectacles, a new augmented reality version of its glasses that is not yet commercially available. Instead, the goal is to inspire creators to design new augmented reality experiences, with the aim of capitalizing on e-commerce. The company also updated the Scan feature, which, in concert with partners, allows use of the camera to identify everything from plants to dog breeds and car models. Chief executive Evan Spiegel said the moves are “a meaningful step forward in our platform strategy.” Continue reading Snap Introduces Augmented Reality Spectacles for Creators

Snapchat Aims to Compete with AR-Centric Digital Platform

Snap is planning to compete directly with Apple, Facebook and Google by creating a complete digital platform, with an app store, expanded games service and ability for third-party developers to build augmented reality experiences with its machine-learning models. Further, Snap is permitting other apps to integrate its camera software and include businesses and users’ friends into its maps. Snapchat has grown to 229 million daily users, versus Twitter’s 166 million, but is still smaller than Instagram and Facebook. Continue reading Snapchat Aims to Compete with AR-Centric Digital Platform

Snap Expands AR Toolset, Announces Deals for New Content

Snap inked multi-year deals for custom short-form content with Disney, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. It released plans for original content including unscripted series, docuseries, and scripted dramas and comedies. In partnership with The Washington Post, Bloomberg and ESPN, Snap will produce “Happening Now,” a breaking news feature. It also revealed that 170+ million people use its augmented-reality tools daily, moving the technology into the mainstream. Continue reading Snap Expands AR Toolset, Announces Deals for New Content

Tech Firms Consider Remote Work Options After Coronavirus

Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter were among the first U.S. companies to send their employees home as the coronavirus spread. Now, as they reopen their campuses, they are also allowing some of employees to continue to work from home. If that policy becomes widespread, it will be a major change from the college-like corporate campuses the companies built to encourage creativity and spontaneous interactions. Working from home will be its own perk and allow companies to broaden their search for workers. Continue reading Tech Firms Consider Remote Work Options After Coronavirus

Snap Maintains User Numbers, Aims for Profitability in 2019

The number of Snapchat app users will remain the same this quarter, news that was a relief to investors and helped propel Snap shares up 22 percent, to $8.62 in after hours trading. Since it went public in March 2017, Snapchat has competed with Facebook’s Instagram, which adopted many Snapchat features. Snap also redesigned the app, to the dismay of some advertisers and users. In Q4, Snap, with 186 million daily active users, was on a par with the previous quarter, although down one million from the same period a year ago. Continue reading Snap Maintains User Numbers, Aims for Profitability in 2019

Twitter Releases Daily Active Users Total For the First Time

Twitter shared details regarding its total number of daily users for the first time, and it turns out the platform has more than 60 million fewer daily users than Snapchat, and significantly less users than Facebook’s messaging service WhatsApp. However, since Twitter currently has 126 million daily active users (DAU), that means about 39 percent of its monthly active users (MAU) are now using the app on a daily basis, which should prove to be an important metric to investors as it shows that Twitter is in fact growing. Continue reading Twitter Releases Daily Active Users Total For the First Time

Snap Plans to Debut Next-Gen Spectacles with Two Cameras

By the end of 2018, Snap plans to introduce its next version Spectacles glasses with two cameras, codenamed Newport and priced at $350. According to sources, Newport will feature an “all new design” with “premium” aluminum-based frame and cameras that can overlay AR lenses over video. The latter feature is part of company founder Evan Spiegel’s vision of everyday AR glasses. Newport’s price is more than double the cost of the first Snap Spectacles, which debuted in 2016. Snap plans to make about 24,000 pairs. Continue reading Snap Plans to Debut Next-Gen Spectacles with Two Cameras