Snap chief Evan Spiegel says improved ad systems at Snapchat and the social network's 'hard to reach' young users make it attractive to businesses

San Francisco (AFP) - Shares in social media company Snap, which runs the youth-focused Snapchat, soared nearly 25 percent on Thursday after it reported more quarterly revenue than expected by analysts.

“The value we provide our community and advertising partners has translated into improved financial performance,” Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel said in an earnings release.

Snap reported revenue of $1.2 billion compared with $989 million in the same period a year earlier.

The Southern California-based tech firm said it trimmed its loss to $305 million compared with a loss of $329 million in the year-ago quarter.

The number of small and medium sized advertisers on Snapchat increased 85 percent in a similar comparison, while an average of 422 million people used the app daily in an increase of 10 percent from the first three months of 2023, according to earnings figures.

Snapchat+, the company’s AI-amped subscription service, reached more than nine million subscribers.

“Our large, growing, and hard-to-reach community, brand-safe environment, and full-funnel advertising solutions have made us an increasingly important partner for businesses of all sizes,” Spiegel said.

Snap shares were up more than 24 percent to $14.20 in after-market trades.

In recent years, the company has been at pains to compete for ad revenue against Meta’s Instagram, Google-owned YouTube and TikTok.

After its launch in 2011, Snapchat became a hit, particularly with young smartphone users, by letting people share photos or videos in messages that self-destruct after being viewed.

It also innovated with the use of filters for shared content, but an expansion into hardware such as drones and eyeglasses has failed to gain traction.

Early this year Snap said it was letting go of ten percent of its staff, including members of its senior management team, “to reduce hierarchy and promote in-person collaboration.”