May 11, 2017

How smartphone tech affects Snapchat's user growth

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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.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.