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Snapchat Usage Is Booming & Shares Are Up 200%

What A Difference A Viral ‘Gender Swap’ Filter Can Make…

At the Snapchat Partner Summit in April, CEO Ev Spiegel outlined bold growth plans for the quirky messaging app:

  1. Doubling down on Gen Z
  2. Fixing its woeful Android app
  3. Extending beyond its border with Snap Kit
  4. Big bets on augmented reality (AR) via fun filters and lens
  5. Investing in premium content

Lo, and behold, three months later, it appears to be paying off.

In May download and usage surged following the release of several features which went viral, most notably its Gender Swap lens.

The Gender Swap lens does exactly what you think it would do, as does the Baby Lens which launched around the same time. As both features went viral Snapchat downloads exploded.

Downloads of the app topped 41 million in May, 37% better than the company's previous best month, which was recorded way back in 2016. Back in the days before competitors ripped off its best features.

Further helping Snap has been the runaway success of controversial teen app sensation YOLO.

Anonymous question-asking app YOLO rocketed to the #1 US app position recently, just a week after launching, thanks to Snapchat.

Built on top of the Snap Kit platform, YOLO uses Snapchat for login and Bitmoji profile pics to let users add an “ask me anything” sticker to your Snapchat Story.

Don’t ask me why this is popular, I’m too old and listen to Coldplay. It just is. Look at the data.

YOLO: Snapchat Is A Must For Youth Marketing

After a year of pain tied to its controversial app redesign in 2018, App reviews for Snap have also increased of late.

Between May and June, more than half of Snapchat’s reviews on the iOS App Store were three stars or above.

A pleasing turn around after Kylie Jenner’s trolling last year wiped a billion buckeroos off its market cap.

Locally Snapchat has around 5.8 million users in Australia and 1.1 million in New Zealand, with the lion’s share being under 35.

At the recent Snap Partner Summit, Ev Spiegel claimed Snapchat was the best way to reach Gen Z:

We each more 13 to 24-year-olds than Facebook or Instagram in the United States, the U.K., France, Canada and Australia.’

That said, marketing uptake locally is weak, for those wishing to reach younger demographics, as most are over-indexed on Facebook and Instagram.

Youth marketers in 2019 should perhaps be skewing a little more towards YouTube and Snapchat, with the bold considering current flavour of the month, TikTok.

Unlike other social channels, Snapchat isn’t the easiest to work with ‘organically’. Therefore, the best approach tends to be focusing more on advertising to reach younger demos on the platform.

The Snapchat ad platform is easy enough to use, self-serving and with more than a passing nod towards Facebook Ads Manager.

Due to low marketing uptake locally it’s also pretty well priced.

Take The Bankers' Word For It

After a difficult year on public markets, Snapchat finally has something to cheer as its latest product updates and marketing initiatives start to gain traction.

Its stock is up 200% since the start of 2019 and analysts anticipate a further bounce in usage and marketing investment as it continues to grow from strength to strength.

On Friday Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry upgraded the stock to buy from neutral.

"For Snap, we believe product improvements and feature additions are driving positive trends in user growth and engagement that, along with monetisation improvement from ad tech initiatives."

Likewise, Bank of America analyst Justin Post said in a note to investors.

“In May, Snap’s ‘gender-face-swap’ filter went viral and SnapKit app ‘Yolo’ reached number 1 on the iOS download charts, and 3rd party Snap app data in 2Q suggests downloads were near record levels

Overall we anticipate improving user trends and revenue upside in 2Q, though we expect Snap to remain conservative in its outlook.”

Smart youth marketers would be wise to get a wiggle on. Remember, you only live once.

Unless of course, you’re John Snow.

 

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