Snapchat filed for a $3 billion initial public offering on Feb. 3, a move that cements its legitimacy among tech companies. But within the company’s filing, there are a few points that raise questions and concerns about its future.
1. Snapchat is a camera company.
Snapchat’s filing statement claims that it is primarily a camera company, concerned with how we use pictures and video to communicate. This supports recent opinions that the app may be an heir to the nightly news. It also explains why Snapchat would be interested in things like Spectacles.
2. Snapchat makes $1.05 off of each user.
That’s right. Per quarter, Snapchat makes just over a dollar off of its users. Facebook, on the other hand, makes $4.38. The app is still young, but it is important that it figures out how to grow soon.
3. Snapchat is losing money.
Although Snapchat’s user base grows daily, its profit margin does not. In addition, the company’s filing statement warns that the company may never be able to turn a profit. Twitter and Etsy made the same statement in their IPOs.
4. Snapchat is for young people.
Snapchat has set the age median for people who visit the site at 25.
Here’s an excerpt from their report:
Users 25 and older visited Snapchat approximately 12 times and spent approximately 20 minutes on Snapchat every day on average in the quarter ended December 31, 2016, while users younger than 25 visited Snapchat over 20 times and spent over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day on average during the same period.
The key take-away from Snapchat’s IPO is that there’s still great potential for the company, but until it becomes profitable, it’s not at the same level as Facebook.