Snap may have experienced the effect of a celebrity un-endorsement as its stock dove 6% on Thursday, after reality TV star Kylie Jenner dissed the recent redesign of the Snapchat social media app.
The influential Jenner, one of Snapchat’s most popular users, took to Twitter on Wednesday, venting, “Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me … ugh this is so sad.”
She appeared to be channeling the general angst of Snapchat users since Snap began rolling out the redesign at the start of the year. While the revamp was aimed at making the app more user-friendly, it was greeted with user hostility, with more than 1.2 million people signing a petition on Change.org urging Snap to scrap it.
On a more charitable note, Jenner also tweeted, “Still love you tho snap … my first love.” But Snap shares fell as much as 8.5% in trading Thursday before rallying to close at $17.51, down just over 6% on the day.
Whether Jenner single-handedly wiped more than $1 billion off Snap’s market value, though, was open to debate.
CNN Money noted that the Kardashian clan member “wields extraordinary influence” on Snapchat, while TechCrunch reported that “many of the product advances of social media companies like Snap have been borne on the backs on influencers like Jenner, who … uses [social media platforms] to push her makeup products and lifestyle.”
“With roughly 25 million followers, [Jenner] carries a loud mouthpiece that speaks to today’s knee-jerk reaction in shares,” Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights, told CNN Money.
But Snap shares had started tumbling on Tuesday — pre-Jenner outburst — after Citigroup analyst Mark May downgraded the stock, warning that the negative reaction to the redesign “could result in a decline in users and user engagement.”
“It’s hard to definitively say whether the current stock plunge is related to Jenner or not,” The Verge commented. “But either way, one of Snapchat’s most influential and popular users declaring that she’s tired of the service is bad news for the company.”