Snap has been struggling over the past year with Facebook cannibalizing its core product with the power and cumulative billion dollar strong userbases of Instagram and WhatsApp, but signs are emerging that the company’s fortunes are on the way up.
The firm issued a redesign to attract more users and stem the haemorrhage, rolling it out to a limited group over the last 3 months., with a wider roll-out this week.
While the redesign has been panned by many users, the firm expected the adjustment period. In a speech given to Snap shareholders earlier this week, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said “As expected, it will take time for our community to get used to the changes, but overall, we are pleased with the initial results and will be making the redesign available to our entire community in Q1. ”
For the firm, the important thing was not just retention of older users, but growth in unfamiliar markets like the over 35s. Evan saw disproportionately higher times spent in the app for users who were over 35 as opposed to the older design.
For its paying consumers –advertisers and publishers–, the firm reported improvements in publisher engagement by users.
“For example, in one of our first test markets, we saw that the number of Daily Active Users watching Publisher Stories on Discover grew by over 40 percent when compared to the old design of the application. We also saw gains in ad performance, both in terms of view time and engagement, as well as an overall increase in our Average Revenue Per User when compared to the prior design.” Mr Spiegel said this week.
Snapchat’s redesign is now more widely available, to the consternation of older change-averse users. For the company, it’s a clear path forward.