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Is Snapchat Going Public Too Soon?

  • Re/code, Thursday, March 2, 2017 8:27 AM
Recode's Peter Kafka wonders whether Snapchat is going public too soon. But, he reports, that Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company, has a unique view and so its IPO is bound to be different as well. That IPO is set for today, by the way. Still, Kafka writes, "even by internet company standards, Snap isn’t sure, exactly, how it’s going to make money — it’s just sure that it will, and that it will make a lot of it," Kafka reports. "Snap’s story is fuzzier. Instead of a single ad product at the center of its pitch, it has two: “Creative tools” like sponsored filters, and TV-style “snap ads.” Wall Street would be very happy if Snap focused on the latter, but Snap won’t even identify itself as an ad company — it’s a camera company, CEO Evan Spiegel insists. And while most big digital platforms sell advertisers on the notion that they have reams of personal information about their users so they can deliver personalized ads with precision, Snap has shied away from most targeting technology. Last fall, in the run-up to its IPO, instead of focusing on ad tech, Snap pushed Spectacles, a $130 pair of novelty glasses. Now it may be playing with drones."

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