The mid-week flurry of news at Snap, Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) is offering up mixed perspectives. Business Insider is reporting on Thursday morning that senior manager Brian Ames -- who has held several executive roles at Snap, including heading up business operations, growth, and revenue product marketing -- left the company earlier this month.
Ames is now the president of advertising at mobile gaming giant King. It may not seem very encouraging for a longtime executive to see more potential in the company behind Candy Crush than Snapchat, but obviously, there are always many moving parts when someone switches employers.
Thursday's news follows a pretty busy Wednesday, anchored by agency executives telling Digiday that Snapchat is offering more incentives to brands and media buyers in an attempt to prop up its ad business during the second quarter. The bonuses, discount coupons, and media credits began last week and will run through mid-June.
Offering incentives isn't a death sentence, but the timing of the promotion will naturally lead one to wonder if Snap's second quarter will be weak. Snap went public at $17 nearly three months ago, and while an IPO typically draws consumer interest and attention to a brand, it also forces a company to keep up with quarterly expectations.
The Information also ran a story (registration required) on the growth struggles at Snap. It revealed that Snapchat lost a million active users in a single week last summer. Obviously we've moved on from last year's numbers, but with usage growth slowing, it's going to be a lingering concern.
We also had Carson Block at Muddy Waters -- no stranger to bearish opinions in general and negative on Snap in particular -- on Bloomberg TV, dissing Snap. He's skeptical of the online advertising model at Snapchat.
It wasn't all bad news. Variety is reporting encouraging news in Snap's push for original content. Content executives are saying that Good Luck America -- Snapchat's first show -- is experiencing a 53% spike in viewership in its second season. Episodes are averaging 5.2 million views. Snap joins other social media heavyweights in the push for proprietary content, planning to quadruple the number of shows it broadcasts each week to 20.
Investors were disappointed with Snap's first quarter as a public company, and clearly there are a lot of things going on right now to try to prevent a repeat performance during the second quarter. Snap isn't standing still, and the same can be said for the stock, which has been very volatile in its first three months on the market.
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