After Snap Inc. reported its earnings for the first quarter on Wednesday afternoon, it’s co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy each lost more than $1 billion.
Don’t worry, they’re not out on the street now or anything like that – but the loss is significant given that it came after the company’s first-ever earnings report since it went public in March.
The ephemeral messaging service did alright this quarter, but it wasn’t good enough to impress investors. It saw year-on-year growth slow to its lowest in the past two years (adding 5 percent to hit 166 million users), and it missed revenue forecasts of $158 million as it came in shy at $150 million.
Interestingly, none of that stopped Spiegel from throwing shade at Facebook, which has copied numerous features from Snapchat in its social network app, as well as in Instagram. Speaking to the rise of Instagram’s Stories feature, which now counts more than 200 million users, he said:
If you want to be a creative company, you have got to be comfortable with and enjoy the fact that people copy your products if you make great stuff. Just because Yahoo! has a search box doesn’t mean they’re Google.
He also made note of the fact that Snapchat doesn’t resort to ‘growth hacking’ like some other apps. That, as Bloomberg noted, sounded like a thinly veiled dig at Facebook, which often does things like ask to connect you to your phone contacts on its social network.
As The Information points out, there are good reasons for Snap to write off this quarter as a minor stumble on a journey to success – including the fact that user growth is seasonal and the first quarter usually isn’t kind to advertisers – but it may be underestimating the threat that Facebook poses.