Snapchat needs to fully roll out its new Android app to save itselfOctober 26, 2018
Snapchat is losing Android users rapidly, as the company continues to delay a full rollout of its long-coming updated app. In its earnings report today, the company announced that its daily active user numbers dropped from last quarter by 2 million, which CEO Evan Spiegel mainly attributes to lost Android users. It’s down to 186 million from 188 million users last quarter, but it’s still up from this time last year, at which point it was at 178 million. The company has always prioritized its iOS users, and only last year did it begin trying to rethink and optimize the app for Android.
Spiegel says in prepared remarks that the forthcoming new app is “lightweight, modular, and performant” and that appealing to the Android community represents “a global growth opportunity for us.” Since Android users make up a majority of the smartphone market around the world, it’s crucial that the company create a functional app. Currently, Snapchat offers the app as a beta version in certain markets that is reportedly missing multiple features, like video calling, Snap Codes, custom stickers, and trophies.
The original Android app was buggy, slow, and difficult to use without serious patience. Last year at this time, Spiegel noted how the Snapchat team was testing various Android phones and saw the ecosystem as an “ongoing investment.” He also said the team wished they had invested in Android sooner. Still, a year later, the team hasn’t yet made good on its Android app word.
Meanwhile, the rest of Snap’s earnings mainly focused on advertiser revenue. The company launched new original programming that it hopes will increase engagement and encourage advertisers. The company’s revenue grew 43 percent year over year and 14 percent from last quarter to $298 million. The company’s Snap Pixel audience tracker also appears to be driving revenue growth, which facilitated 230 million purchases on the platform from 70 million last quarter. Snap is clearly focusing on figuring out ad revenue paths that’ll be effective going forward, but none of those efforts will be worthwhile if it keeps bleeding users.