Snap plunges after 1Q report as Facebook's shadow looms

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That compares with the $39 million in revenue and loss of 14 cents a share the company reported for the same period a year earlier.

"I think we were a little bit late to the trend initially around making cameras the center of how sharing works", Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on an earnings call this month, without naming Snapchat.

"Right now they clearly have a loyal user base in the younger population, but the over 30 year old demographic is one of the most attractive segments for advertisers due to their spending power", Eric Kim, managing partner at venture capital firm Goodwater Capital, wrote in a report. This was despite the fact that the average revenue per user generated by Snap was 90 cents, up 14 percent from last quarter and up 181 percent from the same period a year ago.

Shares of the company plunged more than 20 percent to $18.30 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

The company said Snapchat added 8 million active users during the quarter, upping its base to 166 million.

Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel, who received a stock-based bonus worth almost US$600 million for taking the company public, shrugged off imitations when asked about Facebook by an analyst on a conference call to discuss earnings.

"They need to acquire the next Snapchat - companies that are doing one thing right", Britton said.

All the copying appears to be paying off for Facebook.

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"We don't think that those sorts of techniques are very sustainable over the long-term".

The young social network garnered a lot of attention when it went public in March, debuting at $17 per share. And on Wednesday, Snap sent its investors a tough message.

It has also aggressively updated its app.

Facebook introduced a feature very similar to Snapchat's "Stories" for its main network and the photo-sharing platform Instagram, which analysts anxious would eat away at Snapchat's already slowing growth rate.

Growth in Snapchat's user base slowed previous year after Instagram copied Snapchat's "Stories" feature, which lets users post short video clips that disappear after 24 hours. In the past six months, Facebook has adopted numerous same features for its own social applications, including Instagram.

It's not clear how much these competing products have hurt Snapchat. The firm found that 35 percent of Snapchat users do not use Facebook on a daily basis.

Snapchat should continue to play to its strengths and focus on the audience that seems to love the platform just the way it is, analysts said. But by then, Facebook had 552 million, more than three times Snapchat's.

"I could easily see Snapchat get distracted by trying to be the end-all-be-all for users, as they receive continued growth pressures from Wall Street", said Jessica Liu, a marketing analyst for Forrester, in an e-mail.

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