Improvements to its Android offering continued to pay dividends for Snapchat operator Snap in the second quarter of 2019, according to the company’s latest financial report, which was released late Tuesday (July 23). The company, which weathered a relatively rough 2018, said that its daily active user base reached 203 million in Q2 — that’s a 22 percent year-over-year increase, and a nearly 7 percent improvement over the first quarter of 2019.
Late last year, Snap began rolling out the new version of its Android application to users. According to the company on Tuesday, “on the majority of Android devices used by new users, Snapchatters are now sending 7 percent more Snaps when compared to the old version, which we believe is an important leading indicator of their long-term retention.” The company in its Q2 2019 earnings report also said it had experienced a 10 percent increase “in the retention rate of people who open Snapchat for the first time.”
Snap’s user base is on the growth path but the losses are still there — though they are shrinking. The company reported a Q2 operating loss of nearly $305 million, which is $53 million less than the loss reported for the same period last year. Net loss decreased by $98 million year over year, to about $255 million, Snap said.
As for revenue in the second quarter of 2019, Snap said that stood at $388 million, a 48 percent increase from the same period last year, and an amount that beat analyst expectations of $359.7 million, according to CNBC. Investors seemed pretty pleased with the overall financial picture for Snap on late Tuesday, as the company’s stock price jumped 12 percent in early after-hours trading.
“The growth in our community, engagement, and revenue is the result of several transitions we completed over the past 18 months,” said Co-Founder and CEO Evan Spiegel in a statement. “We look forward to building on our momentum and making significant ongoing progress in each of these areas.”
Recently, news emerged that Snap is preparing to release a new feature that supports events just like Facebook does. The specifications are unknown for how it’s going to work, but according to a screenshot posted by a researcher, people can create an event, give it a time and place, and by swiping, others can join a group chat for the event. It’s not known if events can be made public or private, or whether it’ll only be between friends. The feature allows for location selection as well, so it seems like it might be able to work with Snapchat’s Snap Map, which was recently updated to show friends’ locations and activities.
Snap reportedly is also rolling out new tools to enable select accounts to operate a store within Snapchat. Citing a Snap spokesperson, DigiDay reported that Snapchat users will be able to access the Shopify-powered stores by visiting the account page of a brand. The checkout featured within the app is only for U.S. customers. International users, the report noted, are sent to a mobile website. That is because of international privacy and data rules, the Snap spokesperson said in the report.
Augmented reality also promises to play a bigger role in Snap’s future, at least according to the company’s Q2 financial release. “We recently launched the next generation of AR lenses that use deep neural networks to modify a person’s appearance in real-time, and over 200 million Snapchatters played with these new lenses in the first two weeks,” the company said. Indeed, “the number of Snapchatters submitting new lenses through Lens Studio every month grew by more than 20 percent from the prior quarter,” Snap said. As well, “we saw more engagement with lenses created by our community in Q2 2019 than the entirety of 2018.”
The coming months will bring more clarity on how Snap might continue to grow — and its new offerings will play a role in the wider world of payments and commerce.