Snapchat targets one billion users in next 2-3 years, reaffirms faith in AR

by | Feb 20, 2023 | News

Snap’s senior management team used the company’s 2023 Investor Day to forecast that its Snapchat platform will reach “over one billion people in the next 2-3 years”. Currently the digital first platform has around 750 million monthly active users.

Drilling down into the platform’s usage, the company said Snapchatters in the US open the app nearly 40 times per day while 60% of Snapchatters who open Snapchat each day create Snaps. Pointing investors in the direction of its strategic priorities, the company said that more than 70% of Snapchatters who download Snapchat engage with AR on their first day in the app. As for shortform, “time spent per Spotlight viewer now meaningfully exceeds the time spent watching Friend Stories per Story viewer.”

Evan Spiegel (pictured), co-founder and CEO, said: “Our long-term opportunity is enormous, but we’re tackling a few significant challenges at the moment – the volatile macroeconomic environment, platform policy changes, and increasing competition.”

While acknowledging that Snap is “still a small business compared to many large technology companies”, Spiegel said “we’ve made a lot of progress, growing revenues to $4.6 billion in 2022. Our large, hard-to-reach audience, brand-safe environment, and innovative advertising platform have made us a valuable partner for businesses. We have everything we need to build a successful business over the long term – a large and growing community, an innovative and engaging product that continues to evolve, a strong balance sheet, and a long-term vision for what we believe will be the most meaningful advancement in computing the world has ever seen: AR.”

Jacob Andreou, SVP of growth, picked up the story: “Our service provides a sticky, compelling use case, fast, easy, fun visual communication with friends and family, and we have a proven track record of growing our Snapchat community… We think about growth in terms of three inputs: adding new Snapchatters, growing their engagement, and retaining them over time. We’ve found that when Snapchatters discover our service early on in their smartphone usage and start Snapping with their close friends, they are far more likely to remain daily active users on Snapchat.”

Jack Brody, VP of product, said the nature of engagement on Snapchat differentiates it from other platforms: “By focusing on meaningful communication between friends, we set ourselves apart from other platforms that centre almost entirely on content consumption. This unique approach leads to high frequency usage, deep engagement, and resilient retention. Today, 88% of Snapchatters who Snap or Chat to a friend will use the app every day for the next 7 days. And in the last year, the number of conversations between unique pairs of friends has grown by over 30%.”

Highlighting product usage, he said: “Snapchatters love our Map, and over 300 million use it monthly. And because we offer a social map, not a navigation map, we have a very high frequency of use. Daily Map users open the map six times per day, on average, to see what their friends are up to and meet up. AR is another key driver of our community growth, increasingly drawing new users to Snapchat.

Kenny Mitchell, chief marketing officer, talked up the benefits of the brand for advertisers: “We’re the antidote to traditional social media because we’ve built a place where we can freely share our perfectly imperfect moments with those closest to us. Snapchat is an authentic environment. A private environment. And best of all, it’s a happy environment. In fact, a staggering 91% of Snapchatters are happy when using Snapchat, and it is the happiest platform compared to our competitors.”

Mitchell added: “Snapchat is where real relationships create an environment where brands have real influence… When Snap Ads show up alongside the stories of your friends and family, or when you are sent a Snap from a friend with a Starbucks Lens, you are more receptive to that message. This is why Snapchat Ads provide increased relevance vs. other platforms, resulting in Snapchatters being 45% more likely to recommend brands and 34% more likely to purchase products advertised.”

Bobby Murphy, co-founder and chief technology officer, reasserted Snap’s big bet on AR: “We believe it represents the next major shift in computing. AR allows us to weave digital experiences into the world around us, evolving the way we use computing in our daily lives. Our AR products and services are driving major impact at scale today — on average, over 250m people engage with AR every single day on Snapchat. Our community plays with AR Lenses billions of times per day on average. And our AR creator community has built over 3 million Lenses using our Lens Studio software. This has allowed us to develop a lead in augmented reality over the last decade.”

TellyCast content distribution

Sign up for The Drop newsletter to get news and insights direct to your inbox.