Snap, Inc promises to help influencers make money from Snapchat

Snap, Inc promises to help influencers make money from Snapchat

Snapchat parent company Snap, Inc has been a lukewarm partner for influencers on its platform, preferring brands to spend money directly with the company rather than on influencer marketing campaigns.

Now Snap is promising to do better, in order to stem any drain of creators from Snapchat to other platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

"While we have made significant progress in our work to empower the creation of user-generated content from friends, and premium content from publishers, we have historically neglected the creator community on Snapchat that creates and distributes public stories for the broader Snapchat audience," CEO Evan Spiegel told analysts in Snap's latest earnings call, after the company published its latest quarterly financial results.

"In 2018, we are going to build more distribution and monetisation opportunities for these creators in an effort to empower our creative community to express themselves to a larger audience and build a business with their creativity."

"Developing this ecosystem will allow artists to transition more easily from communicating with friends to creating stories for a broader audience, monetising their stories, and potentially using our professional tools to create premium content."

Developing these tools is one way Snap is hoping to revive its fortunes, with the quarterly financial results having sent the company's share price plummeting.

In the third quarter of 2017, Snap's revenues grew by 62% year-on-year to $207.9m, but its net loss increased from $124.2m this time last year to $443.2m in Q3.

Snapchat averaged 178 million daily active users that quarter, up 17% year-on-year, but just 4.5% quarter-on-quarter. The obvious comparison is to Instagram, where there are now 300 million daily active users of that app's Snapchat-style 'Stories' feature, and 500 million daily active users for the app overall.

Befriending influencers is just part of Snap's plans to reignite its business in 2018. Spiegel also said that the company is working on a Facebook-style algorithmically-sorted feed of stories, rather than just showing the latest posts from friends and people you follow in reverse-chronological order.

Snapchat is also getting a major redesign. "The one thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use," said Spiegel.

He admitted that there's a risk here, however, with the hard-to-use nature of Snapchat often cited as an appealing factor to its initial, youthful community of users.

"There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don't yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application. We're willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business."


Contributing Editor

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)