Snapchat just announced its largest user growth in years

Snapchat is enjoying its highest user growth in years, according to its latest earnings report. Daily active users have increased to 293 million, which is a 23 percent growth from this time last year. That’s the best Snap Inc has seen in a while; it tops the company’s prior best of 22 percent, which happened four years ago. The number even tops Twitter’s, which recently reported 206 million daily users in the second quarter.

Overall revenue also increased by a very impressive 116 percent to $982 million, which is its strongest growth rate yet. That’s faster than even that of Twitter and Facebook, at least right now.

The company also said that Spotlight, its TikTok-like feature that pays users for clips, has grown in popularity. Daily active users of Spotlight grew by 49 percent, and average daily content submissions have more than tripled.

Much of this growth can be attributed to pandemic lockdowns ending, as well as a much-improved Android app. In a prior earnings statement, CEO Evan Spiegel said that “as things began to open up in the United States in late February, we saw inflection points in key behaviors like Story posting and engagement with the Snap Map.” However, the recent surge of COVID-19 cases point toward an uncertain third quarter. 

The company said it so far has not seen too much of a negative effect from Apple’s rollout of iOS 14, which forces developers to ask users permission to track their data (often used for ad-targeting). Snap’s business officer, Jeremi Gorman, said that the company actually saw relatively high opt-in rates compared to the rest of the industry. 

Additionally, Spiegel is hopeful that the development of the app’s augmented reality platform will drive engagement even further. Users, for example, can now “try on” clothes and accessories using the app, and the company also unveiled a new pair of Spectacles that have AR built-in.

“We are pleased by the progress our team is making with the development of our augmented reality platform, and we are energized by the many opportunities to grow our community and business around the world,” he said. “More than 200 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day on average, and over 200,000 creators use Lens Studio to build AR Lenses for our community.”

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