Snapchat users aren’t consuming enough publisher content

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising

January 11, 2018

Snap Inc has a problem. According to new information, the app is much more of a communications messenger and many of its features are still going unused.
The Daily Beast analysed five months of daily active user data of the app, which revealed that in-app features such as Snapchat’s Maps, Discover, Memories, Lenses, Audio and Stories aren’t being used all that much.
Instead, Snapchat is much more of a chat app.
The company recently announced a large redesign of the app, which may address some of these shortcomings.
Overall, users were sending personal snaps to friends more often than they posted Stories. In August 2017, users were 64% more likely to send a Snap to friends than post a Story. An average of 34 messages were sent each day.
However, the most worrying trend of the report is that just 20% of Snapchat users consumed publishers’ content from Discover.
Over 40 publishers are now actively using Discover including The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and Vogue. Although publishers are now receiving more detailed analytics about their own channels, Snap Inc remains tight lipped about its daily active user numbers.
If publishers aren’t able to reach a large enough audience on Snapchat, publishers are likely to abandon the app. This would have some serious consequences for Snap Inc’s revenue.
Meanwhile, the announced redesign of the app is prompting yet further fears that Discover usage could potentially plummet further. The redesign aims to make the app easier to user. However, it splits off Discover from Stories.
According to ex-employees working at the company, Snap Inc seems to be lacking a clear direction. Deadlines continue to be pushed back and many employees only find out about new Snapchat features through the news.
One former employee said:

“If DAUs go down or stay flat, the stock could go under $10. I feel like if that happens most people at the company will just quit. I know several friends already looking to get out.”

Snapchat had a great start, but all the hype and glory has slowly crumbled over the last two years – or so it seems. Instagram may play a part in that, as it continued to copy Snapchat features to amp up its own app.