Snapchat is only a few years old, but you wouldn’t know it from the app’s massive number of users, Business Insider said.
It’s been reported that Snapchat, a mobile application for sharing messages that quickly disappear, has more than 100 million users. But that number may actually be closer to 200 million (or beyond), if you read between the lines of what’s been written and stated by the company’s executives, the report said.
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The company, one of the elite technology startups that has attained a valuation of $10 billion or more, compares its size and scale internally to Facebook and Twitter. But it only looks at those companies’ mobile monthly active users, not total monthly active users, since Snapchat is a mobile-only platform, Business Insider said.
Here’s the evidence: “Our Stories” a feature Snapchat launched in June, already rivals the scale of some TV audiences.
In November at a conference, Spiegel made a somewhat startling statement. He was quoted as saying: “More people are watching college football on Snapchat than they are on television.”
A Snapchat spokesperson says Spiegel’s quote is missing context, however. Spiegel was apparently saying that college football “Our Stories” get more views than top game coverage on Saturdays. That’s still tens of millions of people, so Spiegel was making a big point that hints at big MAUs, the report said.
Snapchat just raised nearly $500 million at a $10-20 billion valuation.
According to a filing Snapchat dropped on New Years Eve, the company has raised $485 million from 23 investors at a valuation that’s been reported at $10-20 billion. TechCrunch’s sources justify the big fundraise with Snapchat’s size and scale, Business Insider said.
According to TechCrunch, “The last reported number of active monthly users of the ephemeral message app was 100 million back in August 2014, but things are moving fast. From what we understand the MAU number is now approaching 200 million users. The company in May 2014 reported 700 million photos sent per day on the app, with 500 million Snapchat Stories.”
Snapchat’s monthly active users are gaining steam on Facebook’s. Facebook had about 350 million monthly active mobile users in early 2014, the report said.
Snapchat users are highly engaged and growth is “abnormal.” Is it closing in on Twitter’s scale of 180 million+ mobile users?
“You’ve seen the data – we have high engagement and high retention product with tremendous growth ahead of us, ” Spiegel wrote to his board member and investor Mitch Lasky in November 2013. “We have reached abnormal levels of growth…If we can build a profitable biz w Twitter-scale, 30-person headcount, and major growth ahead we are not going to have a problem attracting additional capital.”
Last year when Spiegel wrote this, Snapchat had 20-30 employees. Twitter back then had about 240 million monthly active users and 184 mobile users. Spiegel’s comment would imply that Snapchat was heavily gaining on those numbers then, Business Insider said.