Twitter Is Building a Snapchat Challenger

Neha Gupta - Author

Aug. 18 2020, Updated 6:27 a.m. ET

Working demo created

Twitter (TWTR) is quietly building a camera-centric product that would rival Snap’s (SNAP) Snapchat app, according to recent reports by CNBC and Bloomberg. The company has already created a working demo of the product, which it has been showing off to its advertising partners.

Twitter’s Snapchat-styled product could play many roles. For example, it could simplify the sharing of videos and photos on Twitter, which could, in turn, increase engagement on the social media platform.

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Making Twitter easy to understand

Twitter finished 4Q17 with 330 million MAUs (monthly active user), flat compared to the previous quarter. Compared to Facebook (FB) and Snapchat, Twitter has generally been slow to expand its audience size in recent quarters. Twitter’s slow audience growth has partly been blamed on the service being difficult for some people to understand.

A product that reduces the number of steps it takes to post a video or photo on Twitter could go a long way toward simplifying the service and potentially drawing more users to the platform.

More video content to monetize

A camera-centric product could also result in more content—especially video content, which Twitter could monetize through commercials. According to eMarketer, video is the fastest-growing digital ad format. US digital video ad spending crossed $13.2 billion in 2017, and it’s expected to reach $22.2 billion by 2021. It’s no wonder Facebook and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google are making aggressive video pushes. Facebook is reportedly in talks with media publishers about paying them to post daily videos to its platform.

Amazon (AMZN) and Verizon (VZ) are also making big investments in video for digital distribution.


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