Snapchat reported its second quarterly earnings as a public company today. It grew its user base and revenue, but not as quickly as investors had hoped. And its losses continued to widen. As a result, the share price, which had already dipped well below the IPO price, continued to slide in after-hours trading, falling more than 11 percent.
Snap said its daily active user base was up by 7.3 million people from last quarter, an increase of 4 percent. That puts its total at 173 million, likely a little bit ahead of Twitter and far behind Instagram — or even just Instagram Stories, a feature that copied Snapchat’s main product.
Snap’s revenue was up 153 percent from the same period last year, rising to $181 million. But the amount of money it lost also ballooned, growing about fourfold to $443 million. That meant that, while the average revenue per user it earned went up, the company’s free cash flow also declined.
Snap, like Twitter, faces a challenging landscape. The vast majority of new digital advertising dollars are flowing to the two biggest players: Facebook and Google. That makes it much harder for niche players to find a profit. (And yes, even a few hundred million users a month is niche when compared with the billions that come to Facebook and Google properties each day.)
As its stock price slides, Snap will have to fight harder to keep and attract top talent. That may explain why it gave out $245 million in stock-related compensation this quarter, more money than it lost all told on its operations in the previous quarter.