Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Snap royalty Kylie Jenner helped erase US$1.3 billion


Snap Inc’s flagship platform has lost some luster, at least according to one social-media influencer.

Shares of the Snapchat parent company sank 6.1 percent on Thursday, wiping out US$1.3 billion in market value, on the heels of a tweet on Wednesday from US TV personality Kylie Jenner, who said she does not open the app anymore.

“Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad,” Jenner tweeted.

Whether it is the demands of her newfound motherhood or the recent app redesign, the testament drew similar replies from her 24.5 million followers.

Wall Street analysts too have begun to notice, citing recent user engagement trends noticed since the platform’s redesign.

Jenner’s tweet was followed late on Thursday by one from Maybelline New York, asking its followers if it should stay on the Snapchat platform. The beauty-product brand owned by Paris-based L’Oreal SA said its “Snapchat views have dropped dramatically,” but it still wanted to connect with its followers.

“Still love you tho snap,” Jenner hedged in a later tweet.

Citigroup Inc analyst Mark May downgraded the stock to sell from neutral earlier this week after seeing a “significant jump” in negative reviews of the app’s redesign.

He expects the reviews could cause user engagement to fall, hurting financial results.

Meanwhile, as the app takes criticism, chief executive Evan Spiegel is poised to become one of the highest-paid US executives for last year, thanks to a US$636.6 million stock grant he got when his company went public.

The Venice, California-based maker of the Snapchat photo-sharing app awarded Spiegel shares equal to 3 percent of the outstanding capital stock when the initial public offering closed in March last year, according to the firm’s annual report filed on Thursday.

He is to receive the shares in increments through to 2020.

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