Why Snap Is Being Careful With Android Development


Mar. 5 2019, Published 10:20 a.m. ET

Android crucial to Snap’s strategy

An improved version of Snapchat for Android may arrive by the end of this year, Snap (SNAP) CEO Evan Spiegel said at a recent investment conference hosted by Morgan Stanley, CNBC reported. Last year, a rushed Snapchat redesign split the photo-sharing app’s user base, forcing Snap to rescind some changes.

With lessons learned from that debacle, Snap leadership wants to get it right the first time with its new Android app. Spiegel told the investment conference that Android is crucial to Snap’s strategy, adding that there are about 2.0 billion Android users out there who still don’t use Snapchat, indicating a huge growth potential. 

Snapchat exited last year with 186 million daily users, unchanged from the previous quarter. Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) closed the year with 126 million and 1.5 billion daily users worldwide, respectively.

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Android is on developers’ minds

Android, which powers most handsets out there, is a top priority for social network apps that want to extend their global reach. Android controlled 74.5% of the global mobile operating system in January, according to StatCounter. Apple’s iOS placed second with 22.9% of the market, KaiOS was third with 1.1%, and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows was fifth with 0.3%. KaiOS is a new mobile operating system being adopted in low-cost smartphones. Google (GOOGL), which owns Android, invested $22 million in KaiOS’s developer last year, according to TechCrunch.


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