The self-described “camera company” also revealed a quarterly net loss of about $2.2 billion, which was blamed on “stock-based compensation.”
During the past quarter, Snap was focused primarily on automation, CEO Evan Spiegel told analysts on a Wednesday earnings call. So far, “we are pleased with early results,” Spiegel said. That said, “We still have a lot of work to do,” he added.
Spiegel said he was particularly excited about Snap’s recent expansion into search, “because it begins to expose the so-called long tail,” and the continued automation of its ads platform.
Supporting future growth, Spiegel also said Snap was betting on faster mobile connections, and its own ability to continue “removing friction from the creative process.”
Year-over-year, Snap saw Snapchat daily active users (DAUs) increase 36% from to 166 million, in the first quarter. From the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, DAUs increased by 5%. Year-over-year, average revenue per user (ARPU) rose 181% to $0.90, in the first quarter.
From the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, ARPU decreased 14%, which Snap attributed to seasonal trends.
Asked if he fears Facebook, on the earnings call, Spiegel essentially said ‘no. Despite Facebook’s willingness to copy Snapchat features -- Spiegel used two older titans to make his point: “At the end of the day,” he said, “just because Yahoo has a search box doesn’t mean they’re Google.”
Just last week, Snap unveiled a new self-service ad-buying platform, Snapchat Ad Manager, while it said would make it easier for brands to buy ads. With Ad Manager, Snap partners can choose from all of its existing formats, and then target their ads to specific demographics.
For Snap, this is just the latest move to better monetize its maturing network.
Among other efforts, it recently launched an “Engagement Audiences” initiative, which invites brands to target those users who previously interacted with their ads on the app.
For example, a brand can now can hit audiences who have already interacted with their Lens or Geofilter with a fresh Snap Ad campaign. The point is to help advertisers reach consumers more likely to be in the “consideration stage” -- or “mid-funnel” -- because they have already shown an interest in their brand.
According to Snap, this sort of offering is not “retargeting” as it is commonly known. Rather, it’s engagement targeting all within Snapchat -- rather than involving outside Web sites or data.
Since its debut at the end of 2016, Snap also continues to roll out “goal-based bidding” for installs. Per the program, advertisers can “bid for installs,” which means that buyers can optimize for the lowest cost per install by showing ads to users most likely to install the app.
This form of targeting is done via Snap’s auction, while brands are still billed on impressions.
Over the past year, Snapchat has secured its spot as a top app. According to comScore, the popular service officially joined the ranks of the Top 10 most popular apps in late 2016.
“Snapchat … went from being a very popular app among the younger demographics to being one of the most popular apps among the general population,” Adam Lella, senior analyst at comScore, recently told MediaPost.
Critically, Snapchat’s general popularity has yet to undercut its status among Millennials, according to comScore’s 2017 Cross-Platform Future in Focus report.
At the end of 2016, a whopping 78% of U.S. consumers ages 18-to-24 -- and 48% of those 25-to-34 -- were using Snapchat. By Snap’s own estimate, 41% of U.S. adults ages 18-to-34 check out Snapchat every day.
Worldwide, Snapchat Discover has now surpassed 150 million daily active users.