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Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

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Snapchat’s freefall after a launching an unpopular redesign has finally slowed and now the company is beginning to roll out a redesigned Android app. Snap Inc. announced its fourth quarter and end of year results for 2018 on Tuesday, February 5. The report turns around six months of losing users while the financial results exceeded the company’s own predictions.

Snapchat users number 186 million — the same as the number of users reported last quarter, following two quarters of declines in the app’s user base. Those numbers are still lower than the 191 million from the start of the year but show that Snapchat’s user base has stabilized following the decline sparked by a complete redesign of the app.

The company’s revenue increased 36 percent, hitting a record $390 million for the company, though still not enough for the company to turn a profit. The increase in profit helped the company post a smaller loss than the year before and sparked a jump in stock prices.

While the company is still stabilizing after redesigning the app, the company is beginning to test a new version of the Android app with a small percentage of users. While the earlier app overhaul was designed to adjust the interface to simplify the app for new users, the Android update is designed to improve performance. 

The company has been working on improving the Android experience from what it calls a buggy and slow performance. In the quarterly report, Snap says that early testing of the Android update shows a 20 percent faster load time when opening the app.

“In 2018, we focused on building a foundation to scale the business over the long-term by driving sustainable product innovation, scaling our advertising platform, and hiring the leadership team that will help us achieve our future goals,” Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said in the report. “We ended the year with user engagement stabilizing and have started rolling out the new version of our Android application to a small percentage of our community. We are substantially closer to achieving profitability, as we have maintained a relatively flat cost structure across the past five quarters while growing full-year revenue 43 percent year-over-year.”

Additional stats from the last quarter show positive notes for Lenses and Publisher Stories. Snap says that more than 70 percent of users use a Lens ever day. The new Lens Studio created 300,000 new Lenses. Views for Publisher Stories and Shows are up by about 30 percent.

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