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Is Snapchat the next Apple?

by Todd Haselton | December 29, 2016December 29, 2016 1:30 pm PDT

As Snapchat works toward its initial public offering (IPO), the company and its management are trying to woo banks to make new investments in the firm. According to The Wall Street Journal, part of the pitch includes likening the company to Facebook and even Apple. In other words, Snapchat thinks it might not only be the next big thing, but a company worthy of growing into one of the world’s largest firms.

Snapchat is indeed unique in its market position. It’s more compelling than Facebook to a younger audience, the same audience that once helped propel Facebook to great heights and, indeed, to its own IPO. And unlike competitors like Twitter, it’s able to attract new users and, indeed, keep them interested in the social network. Also a huge distinguishing factor from Twitter and, perhaps a likening to Apple, Snapchat now sells hardware. The company introduced its Spectacles sunglasses earlier this year, allowing its users to record and publish content to the social network right from their faces.

The Wall Street Journal said Snapchat hopes that these differences help drive new investments, even though Snapchat doesn’t really have the financials to back up some of its comparisons to far larger companies like Facebook and Apple.

The next Apple? Or the next Twitter?

“In the expected pricing range, Snap would be valued at a far higher multiple of market capitalization to advertising revenue than other social-media companies, including Facebook and Twitter,” The Wall Street Journal explained.

In other words, investors and, indeed, one day the public, will be acquiring stock in a company that doesn’t generate as much income as Facebook or even Twitter, the latter of which has constantly made headlines for being overvalued, failing to generate profit and lacking the ability to show user growth.

Snapchat will go down one path or the other. Will it, as the companies management argues, follow the successes of Facebook and Apple? Or will it be the next Twitter?

My guess is it’ll fare better than Twitter, but it may take continued innovation, perhaps in the form of hardware like Spectacles, in order to attract new users and drive revenue growth up to levels where comparisons to Facebook and Apple aren’t balked at. That’ll take time.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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