At its Investor Day event on Thursday, Snap shared a handful of new metrics about its business and teased its prospects. Notably, it said its social media app Snapchat has now grown to over 750 million monthly active users. While the number falls far short of the roughly 2.96 billion monthly active users Facebook reported earlier this month, it’s ahead of others, including Pinterest, which recently said it reached 450 million monthly users.
It’s unclear, however, where Snap stands against Twitter, which is no longer a publicly traded company following Elon Musk’s acquisition. Plus, Twitter’s public numbers from prior to the deal’s close had used a different metric — Twitter’s own invented metric called mDAUs, or monetizable monthly active users. This was meant to indicate the number of users on Twitter who would actually see its ads, Twitter had said. That number was 237.8 million as of the final public earnings in July 2022, which was smaller than Snapchat’s now 375 million daily users.
TikTok, meanwhile, announced its 1 billion monthly active users milestone in 2021 and was forecast to reach 1.8 billion by year-end 2022.
In addition, Snap shared that of its 750 million monthly active users, 150 million were in North America. The company said it sees a path to reaching over 1 billion people in the next two to three years.
During the event, Snap also teased its newer offerings in terms of products, including its 3D Snap Map and a recently launched feature called Communities. The latter is targeted toward private groups where members can add friends and post to a shared Campus Story. The feature has launched with colleges and high schools and will roll out to more communities in time. So far, there are over 1,400 colleges in the U.S. with access to Communities, Snap said.
It also touted the success of its $3.99/month paid subscription, Snapchat+, which now reaches 2.5 million subscribers — a more exact figure than the 2+ million announced during earnings.
Of course, what investors want to hear is how Snap is managing with regard to the competitive landscape, including the threat from TikTok, how its investments in its ads business will help drive growth, and if it can offer any guidance toward the future. That may come later in the day.
Snap said its primary advertising focus in the near term is direct response (DR) advertising, which represents approximately two-thirds of its business and is growing at a faster rate than its brand-oriented business. Its DR platform was the primary driver of its ad revenue compound annual growth rate of over 50% in the five-year period ending 2021. It spoke about its investments in various adtech and ad formats, including more traditional ones and newer technologies, like AR, and noted it was working to enhance the quality of engagement and conversions. It also said it was working to address the increased cost-per-action that had resulted from its changes.
As part of its efforts, Snap said it would increase the volume of measurable conversions through improved relevance targeting and machine learning optimizations.
It also shared that its TikTok competitor, Spotlight, is attracting less than half its total monthly active users, as 300 million users engage with the feature every month. However, the company pointed out that engagement for this product was still growing. In the fourth quarter, the total time spent watching Spotlight more than doubled from the year prior, and Spotlight submissions were up nearly 20% over the same time frame.
In the first part of the event, Snap also shared a large number of other metrics with investors, including several that were recently announced during earnings:
- Snap’s community outside North America and Europe grew more than 80% since Q4 2020.
- 95% YoY increase in daily new users who have three or more friends.
- Snapchat users who talk to at least three friends over the course of a month retain at over 90% in the following month, on average.
- Snapchat users share memories with friends 280 million times per day, on average.
- For the five years after a user’s first year on the service, annualized retention is approximately 90%, on average.
- U.S. users open Snapchat nearly 40x per day on average; over 60% of users who open Snapchat each day create Snaps.
- Over 5 billion Snaps are created every day, on average.
- 88% of users who Snap or chat with a friend will use the app every day for the next seven days.
- Snapchat’s map is used by over 300 million users per month; Daily map users open the map 6x per day on average.
- In Q4, total time spent watching Spotlight more than doubled from the year prior, and Spotlight submissions are up nearly 20% over the same time frame.
- Two out of three users engage with AR daily; over 70% of users who download the app engage with AR during their first day on the app.
- Number of users with at least one friend Story to view has increased 15% YoY.
- U.S. time spent per view for both creator Stories and Spotlight grew by “large” double-digit percentages in Q4 compared with last year.
- Snapchatters subscribing to new creators via Spotlight increased by 225%, and the number of total daily subscriptions increased by 240%.
- In India, time spent on Spotlight more than tripled, and time spent watching Shows increased by over 55% in 2022.
- Media partners in over 20 countries, 10 languages, including NBCU, Disney/ESPN, Channel 4 and MBC, sports leagues like the NFL and NBA, digital natives like Team Whistle and Jellysmack, and news brands including The Washington Post, Axios, and Axel Springer.
- Spotlight reaches over 300 million users per month.
- Since 2021, more than 250 million users engaged with AR shopping Lenses more than 5 billion times.
- Snap’s AR creator community of over 300,000+ creators and developers have built over 3 million Lenses.