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It was not too long ago that there were worries that Snap wouldn’t make it on its own. As the stock shares of the standalone parent company of Snapchat began to plummet, concerns unsurprisingly grew. The crash in stock value was directly the result of a hasty platform redesign. Normally a revamp has benefits but in this case, the user growth crawled to almost a complete standstill, advertisers were miffed and cautious to continue involvement and the stock fell to just $5. 

Thankfully, the situation appears to be resolving itself. The company has recently gone on the record reporting that this year they have stats that showed 13 million users who were active on the platform on a daily basis throughout their second quarter. When compared to the same second-quarter data from the year before this equates to a 23% increase. In fact, Snapchat is growing at a faster rate than it did in its inaugural year. It was first founded in 2017; its active users have increased from 173 million four years ago to 293 million active on Snap chat each day worldwide. The revenue is also seeing a similarly expected rise.  Snap has reportedly climbed 116 percent, with a revenue of an estimated $982 million. Given the time frame then, this makes it a faster-growing business than social media giants Twitter and Facebook.

The figures demonstrate a very impressive turnaround for the tech company. More often than not once the stock tanks in modern tech it becomes tough to claw your way back, as it is a highly competitive and rapidly evolving environment. Snapchat is lucky to have a success story. Some of their good luck could be at the hands of the pandemic and the manner in which the situation pushed social distancing with the majority of us spending more time online and turning to social apps to stay in touch. Evan Spiegel (CEO of Snap) says that Snapchat’s design isn’t limited to solo, remote use. Because it can be taken out and about and used socially with friends, he doesn’t foresee the end of the pandemic lockdown affecting the app’s user base in the future. He still believes it will continue to grow, perhaps even at a faster rate once restrictions are eased and rules are lifted.

Snap’s core markets are North America and Europe but the majority of its recent users came from further afield. Its core markets earn them more from monetization, so the company will have to think about how to bring in more revenue from outside markets. Especially considering that during the second quarter they weren’t too heavily affected by Apple’s iOS data tracking changes which are coming into effect in a staggered rollout. Apple users now have the option of whether or not to allow third-party developers to track their cross-app activities.

This tracking is a tool that many ad-driven businesses rely on to produce target ads without investment. With users being able to control the option many companies will find it harder to personally tailor an advert to the user. Snap is advert-dependent so it could become an issue. When addressing investors, Snap’s chief business officer, Jeremi Gorman, said “we observed higher opt-in rates than we are seeing reported generally across the industry, which we believe is due in part to the trust our community has in our products and our business.” So Snap may be in with a better chance than the less transparent companies such as Facebook when it comes to obtaining an Apple user’s permission.

In a recent article by The Verge, Alex Heath pointed out that both Snap and Facebook are fans of augmented reality technology that can be used in the real world with phones or smart glasses. Each is heavily invested in computer graphic overlays. Spiegel has been an AR advocate for years, constantly discussing Snapchats involvement with the feature. More recently he made mention of using the Snapchat camera to scan a product when you’re shopping, and giving the user a virtual experience of it in the app. If swayed you could then buy it directly from the app itself too. It is an interesting plan.

Although they are currently only available for select AR creators, Snap has recently shown off its AR display Spectacles. “More than 200 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day on average, and over 200,000 creators use Lens Studio to build AR Lenses for our community,” Spiegel said in his remarks to investors Thursday.

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