Snap’s Tough Year: Time To Flip the Narrative

Snap’s first year as a public company hasn’t been very good. Ever since the company behind Snapchat publicly unveiled paperwork with plans for a $20 billion IPO almost exactly a year ago, concerns have surfaced about Snap’s long-term viability.

It turns out Snap doesn’t have the user growth or business growth that everyone initially expected. Snap stock is down over 43 percent since its first day of trading in early March and the company looks a lot more like the next Twitter than it does the next Facebook.

The thing that makes Snap so compelling, though, is the idea that it’s still early. Those perceptions about its growth could change on Tuesday when Snap reports Q4 earnings after markets close.

The hope is that Snap will grow into its expectations. Its ad business, for example, is still young. And while its user growth has slowed, the company hadn’t made that a priority just yet.

At the same time, the big announcement during Snap’s last earnings report was CEO Evan Spiegel’s admission that the service is too hard to use, meaning the company is at least thinking about trying to get new people to use the service.

After three straight disappointing earnings calls in a row, Tuesday will be key in keeping that feeling of hope alive. Once a company develops a narrative – Twitter’s reputation that it can’t grow, for example – it can be tough to shake.

Here’s what we’ll be looking for:

* Snap first unveiled plans for a big redesign on its last earnings call in early November. Then it showed off that redesign to the media later that month. The redesign is still not broadly rolled out, and Snap has said little about why. Where is it? And how is the rollout going?

* Snapchat’s user base isn’t growing the way analysts once hoped….

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