May 11, 2017

How smartphone tech affects Snapchat's user growth

Flickr Creative Commons

Snapchat's parent company pointed to mobile technology as it sought to explain user growth (and lack thereof) during its first earnings call since going public.

Bottom line: Snap essentially admits that its service works best for people in countries where iOS phones are affordable and popular, and mobile plans are so cheap that everyone is online all the time on their phones. Here Facebook has an advantage over Snap as it's been investing for years into ways it can make its apps and service accessible for users in emerging markets.

Android: Recent improvements to Snapchat's Android app significantly contributed to its user growth as 30% of its net new users in the last quarter were on Android. When Snap initially filed to go public, it admitted to having issues with its Android app. Still, despite progress, the Android app still lags behind the iOS version, a significant hurdle as Android is the more popular operating system in emerging markets.

Internet connectivity: Snap also argued that lack of strong and affordable cell service in certain parts of the world makes it difficult for its to gain users in those markets. Since Snapchat is best used for snapping photos and videos throughout the day, it loses its appeal for folks who mostly get online on their phones when they're on Wi-Fi, CEO Evan Spiegel explained.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.