How Snap is caving in to post-IPO pressures

Snap is making itself accountable to shareholders by reprioritizing its decisions for growth. These changes impact company culture and the entire user experience.

Snap, the makers of Snapchat, has faced at least some of the pressures that come with being a publicly traded company for a full month now and it’s already showing signs of change. On Friday, the company enabled a new search function that allows you to search through public posts, or Stories. In its pursuit of more eyeballs and longer sessions in the app, Snap is evolving and embracing features that run counter to its traditional user experience and more closely mirror those of its competitors.

Facebook has, as if on cue, been pulling out all the stops to stunt Snapchat’s growth. Stories, a format popularized by Snapchat, is now a core experience across all four of Facebook’s most popular apps. Snapchat’s growth rate is slowing and, like every social media company that went public before it, that will be a top concern for investors. Much of Snapchat’s growth is being driven by older Americans and eMarketer projects that to continue as the company inks more media partnerships to position the platform for produced TV-like content.

Snap reacts to copycatting with public search

Snap isn’t the first company to face post-IPO pressures, but it’s showing little restraint as it maneuvers for top position in an increasingly hostile landscape. Within a month of going public, Snapchat has abandoned one of its core principles. User-generated content is no longer ephemeral or limited to a 24-hour window of availability. The move brings the app more in line with platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube where you can search for videos, including those posted by people they don’t follow.

“After an IPO, nearly every dynamic changes,” says Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “First and foremost, it forces the company into a rhythm and decision-making process governed more by Wall Street than by its customers.”

Snapchat Stories are being categorized by caption text, timestamps and visual elements through the use machine learning. The company says there’s more than a million unique Stories already available via public search. Users can still keep their posts private, but by submitting their Snaps to “Our Story” they become publicly available and searchable for up to a few months, according to the company. Our Story essentially elevates users to curators who can package content into specific Stories based around locations or big events.

Changes occur quickly in the social networking space and it becomes even more important for companies like Snap to prove their value after an IPO, according to Forrester analyst Erna Alfred Liousas. Private companies have the luxury of time to sort through challenges, whereas the public environment almost necessitates quick, deliberate changes that appear to come from positions of strength, according to Alfred Liousas.

“Facebook must be doing something right as its employees are not only loyal, they keep things close to the vest,” she says. “That implies everyone understands what they're working towards and why. That's a behavior Snap should definitely mirror.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags SnapChat

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Kapko

CIO (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?