After closing its 2017 financial books on a high note, Snap, Inc. is planning to ride the momentum of its augmented reality products into the new year. That's the main takeaway following the company's 2017 earnings conference call, which was held on Tuesday.
While the company credits several of its products and initiatives (including an improved Snapchat app for Android) for its 104% year-over-year revenue growth and the addition of 8.9 million daily active users in the fourth quarter, augmented reality was often cited as a catalyst for its positive results. And the company has prioritized the technology as part of its plan for 2018.
"With billions of Snaps created every day, we have a unique opportunity to engage our community with augmented reality experiences overlaid on our Camera," said Evan Spiegel, chief executive officer of Snap, Inc. in prepared remarks for its quarterly earnings webcast. "Every week, on average, more than half of the entire 13-to-34-year-old population of the United States plays with augmented reality Lenses in Snapchat. We enter 2018 energized by the opportunities in front of us and excited to deliver against our plan for user growth, augmented reality, and content."
A key component of Snap's augmented reality strategy is Lens Studio, a desktop tool that gives developers and creators the ability to build their own augmented reality content and publish it on Snapchat. Perhaps buoyed by its community outreach efforts, Snap claims that more than 30,000 Lenses have been created, which have garnered more than a billion views since the launch of Lens Studio in late November.
"We are blown away by the ingenuity of our community and we can't wait to see what they create next," said Spiegel. "We'll be working hard to expand Lens Studio for years to come."
The company is also banking on Lens Studio to create more advertising opportunities. According to the earnings report, Foot Locker was first among advertisers to truly harness the power of the Lens Studio, constructing a Sponsored Lens that ran over the Christmas holidays.
"They worked with our Lens Studio partner, North Kingdom, on a Lens that was incredibly successful and highly engaging," said Imran Khan, Snap's chief strategy officer, in prepared remarks. "On average, users played with their Lens for 45 seconds!"
Snap is obviously pleased with the results of its augmented reality efforts, going so far as to commemorate the success of its Lens product with a "best of" edition.
Moreover, its earnings performance also serves to give investors some confidence in the financial viability of the technology, which is good news for any company pitching its own AR innovations.