It’s strange to think that a single tweet from a celebrity can wipe over one billion dollars off the market value of a company, but that’s the world we live in today. Kylie Jenner, the reality TV star and socialite, gave Snapchat’s stock price another black eye after revealing she doesn’t use the app anymore.
Kim Kardashian’s half-sister tweeted to her 24.5 million followers: "sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad."
Jenner had been one of the app’s most popular users. Immediately following her tweet, the company’s stock started to fall and eventually declined by 6 percent, clearing around $1.3 billion off its market cap and dropping shares near to the IPO price of $17.
Snapchat’s recent redesign, which separates content from friends and brands–including celebrities and influencers—hasn’t been well-received by its near 200 million daily active users, and even led to a change.org petition signed by 1.2 million people. The fact that investors are concerned the update won’t increase Snap’s user numbers has also contributed to the company’s troubles.
Despite the overwhelmingly negative response to the update, Snapchat has no intention of reverting to the old system. The company acknowledges that the “new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many,” and said a future update would bring more personalization features, but that hasn’t appeased users. Much like Facebook and its recent change, Snap says the goal is to “make it easier to connect with the people you care about.”
Jenner did post another tweet that read, “still love you tho snap ... my first love,” but it didn’t undo the effects of her first message.
Speaking about the update at a San Francisco conference, Snapchat CEO Even Spiegel, whose pay was $637.8 million last year, said: “One of the complaints we got was, ‘wow I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore’. And we’re like: ‘Exactly. They’re not your friend.’ So for us, even some of the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes. And it’ll take time for people to adjust.”