Snapchat Completely Releases Redeveloped Android App, Boosting Usage

Apps and Software

Snapchat has finally completed the release of Project Mushroom, a smaller and faster backend overhaul of its Android app, which has led to increased usage after a year of shrinking or staying flat / Photo by: Max Pixel

 

Snapchat has finally completed the release of Project Mushroom, a smaller and faster backend overhaul of its Android app, which has led to increased usage after a year of shrinking or staying flat.

The re-engineered app is 20 percent smaller and 20 times faster compared to its predecessor, which makes it suitable for emerging markets wherein iPhones are too expensive. Tech Crunch reports an immediate six percent increase in the number of people using low-end devices that sent Snaps during the first week of upgrading the new Android app.

From the 186 million daily active users (DAU) in the last quarter of 2018, Snapchat grew to 190 million in this year’s first quarter—adding a million each in Northern America and Europe and another two million from the rest of the world, wherein the Android app made the most significant difference even though the release was made at the end of the quarter.

The complete release was a long wait, Tech Crunch says, since Snap first made the announcement of the Android redeveloping project in November 2017.

“While these early results are promising, improvements in performance and new user retention will take time to compound and meaningfully impact our top-line metrics," said Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in his remarks for Tuesday's estimate-beating earnings report.

"There are billions of Android devices in the world that now have access to an improved Snapchat experience, and we look forward to being able to grow our Snapchat community in new markets.”

Changes in the app's ruinous design are responsible for some of the observed growth. Enhancements include improved personalized ranking of Stories and Discover content along with a new premium video Shows. With the Android app becoming fully operational, Snap might see a notable development in the Rest of the World area for its second quarter.

However, Snapchat may have difficulty appealing to emerging markets since they are not the first to introduce Stories there (Facebook's Instagram did so back in August 2016). If it manages to double-down on ephemeral messaging, premium video, and augmented reality platform, which is way ahead of Facebook's current offerings, Tech Crunch says it could finally achieve that 200 million DAU milestone.