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Illustration: Axios Visuals

Snapchat had its best year in 2020, adding 31 million daily active users and increasing its stock price from roughly $16 in January to more than $52 today. It also avoided most of the drama and regulatory scrutiny that its competitors faced around things like content moderation, bias, and privacy.

The big picture: The pandemic accelerated underlying trends favorable to Snap.

  • The app, which is designed to connect users with their closest friends, saw boosts in engagement while many teens and college students were forced to stay home from school.
  • With stores closed and e-commerce surging, Snapchat's advertising efforts around augmented reality and e-commerce proved fruitful.
  • Quarterly revenue last quarter was up 52% year-over-year to $679 million.

Meanwhile, other tech rivals like Facebook and Google were slapped with several new regulatory investigations. Axios' tech policy team ranks the 5 new lawsuits: Facebook stands to lose the most, but Google is more likely to lose.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook seeks a new head of U.S. public policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is looking externally for a new U.S. policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican who now holds the job, to a different position, per a memo seen by Axios.

Between the lines: Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

Biden headed to the Hill as Democrats struggle to reach deal on spending bills

President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leave a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday morning will meet with the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill to provide an update about his Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal, according to a White House official.

Driving the news: The meeting comes as Democrats struggle to reach a deal on the spending bills. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Sunday that Democrats were planning to reach an agreement on the infrastructure package this week, before Biden's departure to Europe, which is slated for later on Thursday.