Snapchat Spotlight hits 100M users, ad revenue $911 million

TikTok, the Chinese-owned app is a competitive threat to and all the U.S. social media companies. TikTok has about 100 million active users in the U.S. Facebook's Instagram and Google's YouTube have both built new video offerings to compete with TikTok, too.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel talked about the growth of in the earnings call on Thursday. “Getting early momentum with creators is vital for attracting new viewers,” Spiegel said.

Spiegel added that the service would roll out widely to the entire Snapchat community this year. People contributed 175,000 videos a day on average to Spotlight. That's still small compared to the rest of the app, where Snapchat says everyday users create 5 billion Snap photos and videos a day.

Spotlight does not show ads, but execs noted that the untapped corner of the app could expand the universe of ad inventory in the future.

Snapchat is making inroads with the rest of the world, too; in places where TikTok is banned, including India. The U.S. and foreign governments have watched TikTok closely because of concerns about its foreign ownership, and India shut down the app last year.

Snapchat says its own business is booming in India with growth up more than 150% year-over-year.

Snapchat execs did call out one potential downside for the future of the business, the upcoming Apple iPhone privacy changes. Apple is set to lock down how it shares user data with apps on iPhones. Apple also is giving consumers more transparency into how they are tracked on devices. Apps and brands rely on data and tracking to target ads, and major platforms, including Facebook and Google, have warned that Apple's moves will likely make it more difficult to conduct business as usual.

Derek Andersen, Snapchat's chief financial officer, said the changes coming to Apple iOS iPhone software could lead advertisers to shift how they allocate their ad money, at least in the short term. “We anticipate that the iOS platform policy changes to be implemented later this quarter will present another risk of interruption to demand in the period immediately after they are implemented,” Andersen said. “It is not clear yet what the longer-term impact of those changes may be.”

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