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Snapchat’s redesign cost it millions of users

Snapchat’s redesign cost it millions of users

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel hoped that a Snapchat redesign would invigorate the platform’s advertisers and better cater ads to users. But in the months following its unveiling, 1.2 million users around the world signed a petition begging the company to reconsider. Snap followed through with its plans, and today, Snap confirmed that the redesign cost it to lose 2 percent of its daily active users — from 191 million to 188 million — in just a quarter.

Spiegel said during today’s prepared earnings call remarks that it took users’ feedback seriously. “We feel that we have now addressed the biggest frustrations we’ve heard and are eager to make more progress on the tremendous opportunity we now have to show more of the right content to the right people.” Still, this marks the first time the company’s lost users since going public, and it won’t be easy to gain them back.

The rest of the company’s financials exceeded investors’ expectations. Revenue increased 44 percent year-over-year, from $182 million in the second quarter of last year to $262 million this year. Its stock is up, possibly because in addition to increasing revenue, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal acquired a 2.3 percent stake in the company. Notably, the company relaunched its Spectacles glasses this past quarter, but didn’t offer much information on how they’re selling. Spiegel mentioned them only briefly, saying that the company is “learning a lot” from customer feedback, and that he envisions them being essential to Snap’s future plans around augmented reality.

Overall, it’s not great news for investors that Snapchat lost users, especially considering how heavily Instagram is now gunning for it. Even Kylie Jenner, who once loved Snapchat, launched her own makeup filter on Instagram last month without building one for Snapchat. That loss might matter more than some angry users.