From silly selfies to serious money: Snapchat eyes $300 million revenue in 2016

snapchat-ceo-evan-spiegel
Although investors continue to value the privately held firm at $16 billion (as they did a year ago), Snapchat still has some hefty ambitions for the year ahead.

In what is already turning out to be a busy 2016 for the ephemeral messaging app, it is now predicting that it will generate revenue in the range of $300-350 million this year. That’s six to seven times higher than the $50 million projection it made in 2015, reports Recode.

At that same recent valuation, Snapchat managed to raise $175 million in funding through Fidelity Investments, hinting at the faith investors have in the firm’s solid growth. The company has now raised $1.4 billion in total. Not all bad news then.

Although Snapchat’s popularity among Millennials (and its alienation of older users) is a true but tired cliché, the app is proving itself to be much more than a simple messaging platform. Barely a week has gone by this year when Snapchat hasn’t announced a new promotional tie-in or feature. At its core, its expansion of Live Stories now encompasses everything from sports to politics.

It is all part of Snapchat’s larger monetization strategy, which is reliant upon advertisers and publishers (the latter through its third-party Discovery channels). In the past, the company seemed content to push through in-app purchases for its users (such as selfie lenses), but it is increasingly ditching those plans to focus on the big bucks that come with larger corporate tie-ins.

Meanwhile, the content Snapchat offers is also changing. A number of recent updates have hinted at more original visual content making it on to the app as it seeks to become a mobile storytelling service. Consequently its vertical video format has been utilized by its own reporters at major events, from the election campaign trail to the Oscars.

That doesn’t mean Snapchat will stop selling you things. In fact, a prominent future update intends to do just that by introducing an e-retailing function through the Discovery tab. Although it has yet to reveal its exact advertising revenue numbers, the sheer versatility (and continual growth) it has shown is likely to boost its revenue. Put the silly selfies away folks, its time everyone began taking Snapchat a lot more seriously.

Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Photography

Forget folding phones, the Insta360 EVO camera folds in half to shoot 360 video

The Insta360 EVO is a...flip camera? Unfolded, the Insta360 Evo shoots 3D in 180 degrees, folded, the new camera shoots in 360 degrees. The EVO launches with what are essentially a pair of 3D glasses for your phone, not your face, the…
Photography

Obsbot Tail camera uses A.I. to follow the action (or a pet) for you

Want to capture more epic action selfies, or see what your pet is doing while you're gone? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Photography

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 mimics tilt-shift blur for less cash

Want to create a tilt-shift image on a budget? The new Lensbaby Composer II with Edge 35 mimics the look of a tilt-shift lens for under $500. The new Edge 35 optic is part of the Composer Pro II optics system.
Photography

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.
Photography

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Photography

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.