A BIG “IF” IN SNAPCHAT’S BULL CASE: Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said Snapchat could be worth $US100 billion at some point, if the company can “transplant the Tencent business model into the U.S.”
For the uninitiated, Tencent is a China-based company that wraps its mobile messaging services into a wide range of paid premium services, such as gaming and video chat.
While Andreessen makes an important point about the evolution of mobile messaging apps and the tremendous user interaction they generate, the reality is that Snapchat faces some stiff competition from its U.S.-based rival WhatsApp, which now has more than 400 million monthly active users, compared to the estimated 30 million monthly active users that Snapchat has. What’s more, WhatsApp is now processing 500 million photos every day, compared to Snapchat’s 400 million snaps (photos and videos).
WhatsApp currently generates revenue via a freemium model — the app is free to use for the first year, but costs 99 cents each year thereafter. If the app rolls out additional services, it could ask users to pay for them, akin to Tencent’s model. (WSJ)
In Other News …
SNAPCHAT CEO ON DATA LEAK: In an interview with the Today Show, Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel commented on a recent data leak that exposed 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers belonging to the app’s users. “I believe at the time we thought we had done enough,” said Spiegel. Many people were unsatisfied with Spiegel’s apology — if you can even call it that. Rather, Spiegel said that security leaks and hacking are simply a part of running a technology business. (Today)
MARK ZUCKERBERG IS NO LONGER THE TODDLER CEO: Although Zuckerberg once said Facebook was not built with the intention of turning it into a business, one cannot argue that the “toddler CEO” has showed tremendous business acumen navigating Facebook to become one of the largest and most promising long-standing businesses on the Web, and especially on mobile. The profile looks at his evolution to become the leader of the “most visible advertising business in the world.” (WSJ)
VINE INTRODUCES FULL WEB PROFILES: Twitter’s video-sharing service Vine has launched full profiles for its online users. Now, when using the app on the Web, people can browse all the videos of one user, just as they can on the mobile version. The layout of Vine profiles is similar to Instagram’s. (TechCrunch)
PINTEREST HITS ROADBLOCK IN EUROPE: Pinterest has lost a ruling that would have allowed it to claim the Pinterest name trademark in Europe. The reason being that a social news aggregation startup called Premium Interest already owns the rights to the name in the region. Therefore, Pinterest will have to change its name for any business it does in Europe (which is unlikely), or be granted a licence from the trademark owner. A spokesperson for Pinterest said the company plans to appeal the court’s decision. (TechCrunch)
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