By Clare Winterbourn, Born Bred Talent.
In what five years ago, you would have thought impossible, a recent post by “high profiled” social influencer “Kylie Jenner” (not happy about Snapchat’s new redesign) has dramatically effected the company’s share price.
SNAP Inc. (Snapchat) shares fell more than 7% (in real money, that is $1,500,000,000 Billion Dollars that went south) on Thursday afternoon. This was after the reality TV star said she is no longer using the app. Jenner has been one of Snapchat’s most influential users in the past.
“Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad,” Jenner tweeted on Wednesday.
And in another posting she said:
“Still love you tho snap … my first love.”
According to its founder Evan Spiegel “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.”
Well Evan, you got what you wanted, “it’s not pretty or perfect”. Far from it, one is forced to draw the conclusion that any business model that relies on the whims of some D-list Hollywood nobody is terribly flawed. Her posting, whilst seemingly innocuous, had a disastrous effect on the companies share price and value.
Snapchat has been under fire from users who have criticized the app’s new layout for being too confusing to navigate. According to Bloomberg, there are 150 million people use Snapchat daily, 1.2 million or .008% of users have signed a petition on Change.org asking Snapchat to remove the redesign.
But is this why she really did it; or were her motives far more sinister? TMZ is reporting that Facebook seems to have benefited from Snapchat’s loss. At end of day Friday, Facebook’s value rose to $532.86 billion, an increase of over $13 billion in the space of a day. Is she a not so secret agent of Facebook?
Facebook also owns Instagram, and Jenner has been using both platforms significantly more since dissing Snapchat, especially to post first looks at her “Kylie Cosmetics Weather Collection”. Her usage of both platforms might have contributed to Facebook’s lucrative week.
Jenner generally shared all of her first look content on Snapchat, including the reveals of her new makeup lines. As the cosmetics mogul has been noticeably absent on the platform of late, her fans seem to have become discontent with Snapchat’s update too.
Is this the new face of the 21century’s corporate raiders?
Snap did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jenner wields extraordinary influence on the platform. Her celebrity adds fuel to the backlash surrounding the app’s major redesign, according to Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights.
“We believe this is an overreaction as Wall Street is hypersensitive to the app redesign,” he told a recent media conference. “With roughly 25 million followers, [Jenner] carries a loud mouthpiece that speaks to today’s knee jerk reaction in shares.” But react they did.
Ives believes the update was necessary to expand Snapchat’s user base. He said the previous app design was confusing, and the format shunned older users and advertisers.
“Snap is doing the right strategic moves but needs to manage this process well,” he said.
Earlier this week, Snapchat announced an update aimed at making it easier for users to view content they want to see.
“We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many,” the company wrote on Change.org, in response to the petition.
Snapchat said it would soon roll out tabs in the app’s Friends and Discover sections to make it easier for users to find Stories, which are photos and videos shared by users that disappear after 24 hours.
Jenner isn’t the only celebrity who has been vocal about disliking the redesign.
Earlier this month, model Chrissy Teigen tweeted: “How many people have to hate an update for it to be reconsidered?”
Snapchat is a one-to-one and group messaging app that lets users send photo, video, and text messages that disappear after several seconds. Of the roughly 150 million people use Snapchat every day they consume around 800 hours of video per second. That’s like watching every episode of “Game of Thrones” 13 times, per second. In addition to its messaging features, Snapchat features Stories (photo or video messages that can be replayed for 24 hours), Memories (saved photos for sharing later), and stickers to embellish messages. The app has been widely adopted, especially among teenagers and Millennials: 26% of people surveyed between the ages of 12 and 24 said they used Snapchat the most, second only to Facebook.
CLARE WINTERBOURN – clare@bornbredtalent