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Snap’s user growth still seems to be sputtering

Snap’s user growth still seems to be sputtering
[Photo: Thought Catalog/Unsplash]

The last year has certainly been tumultuous for Snap. The company scrambled to fix a widely hated app redesign, which cascaded into multiple high-level departures and reports of low morale and internal tension. Snap is now trying to rebound but has yet to break free. Just this week, the stock sunk more than 13% on news that its recently hired CFO, Tim Stone, was departing.

To add to the woes, Goldman Sachs just published a report that looked at comScore’s just-released December U.S. online traffic numbers for Snap. While the findings aren’t terribly shocking, they do show Snap’s user growth continuing to slump. According to these numbers, Snap’s unique visitor count saw a drop every month over the last quarter. Put together, the comScore numbers indicate that the app saw an average drop of -3% year-over-year during Q4. For comparison, Snap reported North American DAUs to be up 3% for Q3.

Similarly, time spent on the app didn’t look great either. Though total time on the app in December went up compared to November, minutes in Q4 dropped -7% year-over-year. For comparison, time spent went up by 4% year-over-year in Q3, according to Goldman.

Though these numbers indicate user growth to be shrinking, other things may be looking up. In a new note, Pivotal’s Brian Wieser observed one glimmer of hope in Snap’s most recent 8-K, which disclosed its CFO’s departure. The company “expects to report 4Q18 revenue and adjusted EBITDA above the top-end of guidance provided at the time of its 3Q18 earnings results,” meaning it saw at least slightly favorable results from its monetization program in the last quarter. This is a small piece of good news for the company, but the only way for the positivity to sustain is to grow user numbers.

The company will hold its earnings report early next month. Then, we’ll maybe get a better sense for how the company hopes to approach reinvigorating growth.

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