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5 key stats Snapchat just disclosed

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer

The details of secretive, exciting companies are always murky and speculated on, with investors and media alike constantly looking for scraps thrown by CEOs.

For Snap Inc, formerly Snapchat, the numbers of active daily users have been rumored around 150 million for much of 2016, with about 10 billion videos watched every day—a statistic from the company itself.

But with the IPO filing, revealed by the company and SEC Thursday afternoon, detail has emerged.

158 million daily active users

Turns out, the rumors were accurate: The platform has 158 million daily active users. In the “Risk Factors” chapter of the filing, Snap noted that this number will likely not be growing as it once did, as the market becomes fully penetrated.

“If our Daily Active Users growth rate slows, our financial performance will increasingly depend on our ability to elevate user engagement or increase our monetization of users,” the filing says. The filing also noted that while a third-party calculated these numbers prior to June 2015—which Snap says inflated them 4.8%—the data from June 2015 onwards is from its own systems.


The company also cited potential bandwidth issues that could prevent growth in countries without a robust cell network, and acknowledged that the capricious nature of its young demographic (18 to 34) could result in Snapchat losing its fun factor. “This demographic may be less brand loyal and more likely to follow trends than other demographics,” the filing read, pointing to a dropoff in useage in users over and under 25.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Additionally, the company warns that adults may feel like learning a new platform. “I we are unable to make our products easier to learn to use, our user growth or engagement could be affected, and our business could be harmed,” the filing says.

For 2016, $404.5 million in revenue, $514 million net loss

In 2016, Snap took in $404.5 million in revenue, but is not yet profitable, currently with a net loss of $514 million stemming from $520 million in operating expenses.

Snap to pay $2 billion to Google over the next 5 years

One interesting tidbit revealed in the IPO is that Snapchat relies on Google Cloud, which is a large portion of these expenses, again showing how Silicon Valley stands upon the shoulders of the Silicon Valley tech companies that came before it.

“We have committed to spend $2 billion with Google Cloud over the next five years,” the filing said, noting that some services do not “have an alternative in the market.”

2.5 billion Snaps are sent per day

As to actual snaps sent, its 2.5 billion per day. As the company’s service is fairly unique, putting that into perspective is difficult. What is clear, however, is that its users fire up the app 18 times per day on average, and spend 25 to 30 minutes per day on it.

Snapchat’s daily active users by quarter. Source: SEC

In one instance, 88% of ads hit their targets

According to the filing, market research company Millward Brown found that 88% of Snap ads hit their target demographic for young males 13-34, though since most of the demographic on Snapchat is young. While the company warns that user numbers may not grow like they have in the past, it notes, “Our advertising business is still young but growing rapidly.”

Comparing the $404 million in revenue in 2016, the year before only saw $58.6 million coming in. Per user, the company makes $1.05 off each one.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, tech, and personal finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.

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