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The feature, dubbed Spotlight, was introduced in November last year as Snapchat faced increased competition for Gen Z users from the popular ByteDance-owned app, which had around 100 million monthly active users as of last August.
In just four months, the Spotlight feature has reached more than 100 million monthly active users, Snapchat owner Snap said Thursday in its fourth quarter earnings release.
Spotlight gives more prominent promotion to user-generated content on Snapchat, something that his historically only been distributed to users’ network of friends on the app. To boost the Spotlight ecosystem, Snapchat said it would pay $1 million per day to the people behind the most popular Spotlight videos.
Snapchat says that Spotlight now receives more than 175,000 video submissions each day on average. CEO Evan Spiegel said on a call with investors that the feature is “really off to the races,” adding that he’s “really excited with the early momentum.” Now that Spotlight has built up an audience, the company will focus on serving up the right content to its users through Spotlight, he added.
Snap also announced Thursday that the number of people using the app on a daily basis increased by 22 percent year-over-year to 265 million daily active users, around 5 million more than Wall Street analysts were expecting. The company had revenue of $911 million for the fourth quarter and a net loss of nearly $113 million, or 8 cents per share. Analysts were looking for revenue of $856 million.
Snapchat is regularly used to share private messages with friends and family. The company said that Snapchatters opened the app an average of 30 times per day on average during the fourth quarter.
The app has also become a destination for media and entertainment programming on its Discover page. According to the company, over 90 percent of Gen Z Americans watched shows and publisher content via Discover during the quarter. Users over 35, meanwhile, increased their daily time spent engaging with that programming on the platform by more than 30 percent.
One popular Snapchat show on Discover during the period was Will Smith’s Will at Home, which debuted its second season on Dec. 14. Spiegel said Thursday that the show has attracted 43 million total viewers between its two seasons.
Despite the strong fourth-quarter growth at Snapchat, the company’s stock was trading down more than 7 percent after-hours on soft guidance for the current period. The company said it expected to bring in revenue between $720 million and $740 million during the first quarter and that its guidance was subject to “substantial uncertainty.” Snap shares closed the day down nearly 2 percent to $58.33.
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