Snap jumps as 1st-quarter revenue beats expectations and guidance surges

Evan Spiegel, Snap
Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel.

  • Snap shares rose more than 6% early Friday following the company’s first-quarter financial report.
  • The social media platform posted breakeven adjusted earnings compared with the loss estimate of $0.06 per share from Refinitiv.
  • Snap forecasts a rise of at least 81% in second-quarter revenue to $820 million.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Snap shares were propelled higher Friday after the social media site turned in first-quarter financial results that surpassed Wall Street’s targets and set its sight on a jump in revenue.

The company late Thursday posted breakeven earnings per share on an adjusted basis compared with a loss of $0.06 per share in a consensus estimate from Refinitiv. A year ago, Snap lost $0.08 per share.

Revenue leapt by 66% to $769.6 million from $462.5 million a year earlier, beating analyst expectations of $743.8 million. The company said its active advertiser base about doubled from the year-ago period and that it delivered positive free cash flow for the first time as a public company.

Shares rose 6.6% to $60.80 early Friday. The stock has picked up about 14% this year and has more than tripled from $16 over the past 12 months.

Snap forecast second-quarter revenue of $820 million to $840 million, which would represent growth of 81% to 85% from $454 million in the year-ago period. Analysts, on average, currently anticipate $827 million.

In the first quarter, global daily active users rose by 51% to 280 million, higher than the Refinitiv estimate of 274.6 million users. Snap also said for the first time that the majority of its daily active users for the quarter were on the Android version of its app.

“We have a large opportunity to gain share of the global digital ad market, which is $340 billion and growing,” said Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer, during the company’s earnings call. She said the company is focused on three priorities: investing in its ad platform, scaling its sales and marketing functions to support advertising partners worldwide, and building ad experiences through video and augmented reality.

Social platforms, especially over the past year, have been increasing focus on e-commerce, said Scott Kessler, global sector lead for technology, media and telecommunications at Third Bridge, in a note.

“The recent acquisition of Fit Analytics could help Snap in the fashion area, and ultimately challenge Pinterest, where the latter has had success with its “try on” feature in the beauty category,” he said.

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Encrypted messaging app Signal appears to be blocked in China alongside Jack Ma’s Alibaba browser, as Beijing cracks down on social-media platforms

jack ma alibaba
Alibaba founder Jack Ma in January 2018.

  • China has reportedly blocked Signal and an Alibaba browser as it cracks down on social-media apps.
  • Signal users in China couldn’t send messages on the app from Monday evening.
  • Alibaba’s browser was pulled on Tuesday after the group was accused of misleading advertising.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Signal, a messaging app that rivals WhatsApp, and a internet browser made by Jack Ma’s Alibaba appear to have been blocked in China, as Beijing continues to crack down on tech firms and social media sites.

Signal users in China reported on other platforms that they had difficulties working the app from Monday evening, including not being able to send messages, the Washington Post reported.

Despite this, users can still access Signal via a virtual private network (VPN), which hides users’ locations.

“Signal has been walled,” users wrote on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, the Post reported.

The app is still available for download via Apple’s China App Store, CNBC reported, but it’s unclear whether it will remain on the site for much longer.

Signal didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The free messaging app offers end-to-end encryption, making it very difficult for third parties, including authorities, to see messages sent on the app. Signal is popular among tech giants, cybersecurity experts, journalists, and government officials.

Alibaba UC Browser pulled from app stores

Ecommerce group Alibaba had its internet browser pulled from Chinese app stores on Tuesday, the Financial Times first reported. Chinese authorities accused group’s UC Browser of promoting misleading online ads that directed patients to private hospitals instead of public ones.

App stores operated by Chinese tech companies including Huawei, Xiaomi, and Tencent have blocked downloads or removed the browser, the FT reported.

It’s the latest hit to Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma. Last year, Chinese authorities halted a $37 billion initial public offering of Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech affiliate.

Buzzy social media app Clubhouse was also blocked in China on February 8, after people flocked to it to discuss political and sensitive topics, such as Xinjiang’s Uighur detention camps. Clubhouse conversations aren’t recorded, making them difficult to monitor, and access is available by invitation only.

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How to get dark mode on TikTok in the iPhone app, and give the viral app a new sleek look

iPhone users have full access to TikTok’s dark mode.

Whether you’re looking something stylish, or just a new look for your favorite apps, dark mode options are there for you. 

If you’re on an iPhone (sorry, Android and desktop users), you can turn on dark mode in TikTok now too. This will make normally black text turn white, and change the lighter backgrounds to black. Don’t worry about the videos though – they’ll stay the same.

Dark mode can save battery, but only if your device has an OLED screen – here’s what you should knowHow to turn on Dark Mode on your Windows 10 computer to give everything a sleek lookHow to turn on Dark Mode on your Mac, to give your computer a sleek new lookHow to get dark mode on your Android phone or tablet in 2 ways

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How to turn off retweets on Twitter from accounts you follow, so you only see their original tweets

twitter app
Twitter lets users mute retweets from people they follow.

  • You can turn off retweets from Twitter accounts you follow, so you only see original tweets from them.
  • Once you’ve turned off retweets, you can turn them back on at any time.
  • To mute retweets from an account, you’ll need to head to that account’s profile and click “Turn off retweets.”
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

It’s easy enough to get lost in an endless scroll through your Twitter feed, without having to sift through tweets from people you don’t even follow. Yes, we’re talking about the retweet.

Retweeting lets you repost someone else’s tweet onto your own profile. It’s great for sharing tweets that you love.

But if someone you follow retweets everything in sight – and not much of it is interesting – you can mute their retweets, so you only see original content. Just note that you can’t turn off all retweets at once; instead, you’ll need to mute each account individually.

Here’s how to turn off retweets from accounts you follow, using Twitter’s desktop website or app.

How to bookmark tweets on Twitter so you can reference them laterHow to find your Drafts on Twitter and create or delete themHow to limit replies to your Twitter posts, so that no account or only certain accounts can replyHow to make Twitter appear in dark mode to reduce battery strain on your computer or mobile device

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What is Clubhouse? Everything to know about the booming invite-only voice chatting app

he invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Though Clubhouse is currently invite-only, the company has plans to expand to the general public.

  • Clubhouse is an iPhone app that allows people to host and join audio conversations with other users.
  • Clubhouse is currently invite-only, but CEO Paul Davison says the app will eventually open up for anyone to join.
  • Despite its exclusivity, the app already has millions of users, many of them major players in Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Founded in 2020, Clubhouse has quickly built a reputation as the next great place for people to meet, talk, and share ideas.

In short, Clubhouse lets you create and join “rooms,” where you can then chat with others in a big conference call. There are no pictures, videos, or really even text – just audio. Users can join and leave the call at any time, turning any room into a public meeting hall.

Here’s everything to know about Clubhouse, the app that’s quickly taking social media circles by storm.

What to know about the Clubhouse app

How to join

The first thing to know about Clubhouse is how to join. And unfortunately, the answer to that question is “You probably can’t.”

Clubhouse is invite-only, meaning that anyone who wants to join has to be brought in by someone who already has an account. You can still download the app and put your name on a waiting list, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get an account that way.

what is clubhouse.PNG
If you download the app without an invite, you’ll see this screen.

Additonally, Clubhouse is currently only available for iPhone users.


Clubhouse’s CEO Paul Davidson has said that the app will eventually open up to everyone, including Android users. But they’re starting slow – anyone who manages to receive an invite is only be given two invites of their own, which they can then gift to others.

How Clubhouse works

Clubhouse creates a place where people can meet up to host, listen to, and in some cases, join conversations within the app’s community.

When you open the app, you’ll be presented with a list of rooms, as well as a list showing who’s in each room. You can join the room by tapping on it, or start your room.

So far, most Clubhouse rooms have a TED Talk vibe, with one guest speaking and everyone else listening. Other users can join the conversation when deemed appropriate by a moderator, but depending on the chat, this can be rare.

There are always dozens of conversations happening at the same time, allowing users to jump between subjects and speakers based on their interest. 

clubhouse app
The Clubhouse app functions kind of like an audio-only Zoom room.



Clubhouse rooms are hosted by experts, luminaries, celebrities, venture capitalists, journalists, and more. During his foray into Clubhouse, Insider contributor Adam Lashinsky described jumping from a conversation about the GameStop short sale, to marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki discussing the art of persuasion, to actress Ricki Lake promoting her documentary.

Tech moguls Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have both spoken on Clubhouse calls in the past few weeks, which has only intensified the buzz around it. Insider reporter Margaux MacColl even noted that Elon Musk’s appearance sparked a “black market” for Clubhouse invites, as aspiring users grow desperate to join the exclusive community.

What comes next for Clubhouse

Clubhouse built its reputation with conversations hosted by big names like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. The app is already considered a staple among Silicon Valley and entertainment personalities. It’s even earned a valuation of over $1 billion, despite being founded less than a year ago.

Clubhouse has plans to expand futher, and eventually take their place among other major social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. But to do this, they’re also going to have to face some of the controversies surrounding the platform.

Some journalists on Clubhouse – especially women – have talked about being targets of bullying and harassment from others on the platform. Others have witnessed rooms descend into anti-semitism, racism, and COVID-19 denialism.

Clubhouse has already hired moderators, and CEO Davidson has said that “Any social network needs to make moderation a top priority.” However, he’s also stressed that he wants the platform to center free speech and dialogue.

clubhouse rohan seth paul davison
Clubhouse co-founders Rohan Seth and Paul Davison.

While Clubhouse has already built a strong reputation, it’s eyeing the future. There are plans to allow users to make money through the app from subscriptions, holding events, and receiving tips. And as more people are invited, buzz is sure to grow.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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How to post Twitter voice tweets and share your thoughts in playable audio files

Talking into phone
You can swap your text tweet for an audio file with Twitter’s voice tweet feature.

  • Twitter’s voice tweet feature allows users to record 2 minutes and 20 seconds of audio to share in a tweet.
  • Any voice tweets that are longer than 2 minutes and 20 seconds will appear as threaded messages with a maximum of 25 tweets.
  • The voice tweets feature is currently only available to certain iOS device users.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’ve ever found Twitter’s character limit suffocating or felt frustrated by the tone of your tweets being misconstrued, one of Twitter’s newest features may be of interest. 

The social media platform recently launched a voice tweet tool to make sharing your fleeting thoughts with your followers even easier. By clicking a few simple buttons, you can record a message and post it to your timeline. This will add a personal touch and ensure your message doesn’t get lost in translation.

Voice tweets appear as regular tweets with audio attachments complete with a play button for anyone to listen to. You’ll retain the ability to write text with the tweet, which means you can also mention users or add hashtags. The recorded audio files also have a maximum length of two minutes and 20 seconds, though longer files can be saved and automatically threaded into multiple messages.

While voice tweets are currently limited to a select group of iOS users, the company plans to roll it out to a broader audience in the future. Should you have access to it now, here’s how to use voice tweets.

How to post Twitter voice tweets 

1. Open Twitter on your iOS device by tapping the app icon on your home screen. 

2. Select the tweet composition button, which looks like a feathered pen and a “+” sign. 

3. Next, choose the voice button, which looks like a soundwave icon. 

How to use voice tweets 1
Click or tap the soundwave icon to begin a voice tweet.

4. Tap the red record button and begin speaking to record your message. 

How to use voice tweets 2
The microphone icon will let you begin recording your voice tweet.

5. When your message is complete, tap “Done.”

6. Add text to the tweet, if you want, and then tap “Tweet” to send. 

How to use voice tweets 3
You can have text accompany your voice tweet.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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