At Snap Partner Summit, Snapchat Introduces Story Studio App, Shares New User Data

Snapchat is introducing Story Studio, a standalone app with editing tools to help users improve their mobile videos.

That announcement was one of a raft of new product rollouts highlighted at Snap Inc.’s annual partner summit. Along with the new offerings, the company sprinkled in some updated stats, saying it now reaches more than 500 million monthly active users and half of all U.S. smartphone users. In its quarterly financial reports, Snap discloses daily active users, and said in this year’s first quarter that number was 280 million.

CEO Evan Spiegel, CTO Bobby Murphy and other execs spoke at the virtual event, which lifted the veil on products, features, and partnerships around Snap’s augmented reality offerings and platforms for creators and developers.

In addition to the Story Studio, the company said its Spotlight venue will now have a home on the web. That will enable creators of Spotlight content to upload video from Chrome or Safari and also use higher-end software tools like Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Viewers can watch the content even if they don’t have a Snapchat account.

Spotlight has been a growth story, the company says, reaching 125 million MAUs, with the number of viewers watching it for at least 10 minutes a day up 70% from January to March. About 40% of those users are outside of North America and Europe.

Execs provided an update on the payouts they have promised to creators. Since launching the incentive program last November, more than 5,400 creators have earned more than $130 million.

The event put a spotlight on some individual creators and programs. Comedy specialist Ross Smith has built a multi-million dollar business on Snap, the company said, with his three shows reaching more than 100 million viewers this year. Beauty mogul Nikita Dragun’s show Nikita Unfiltered put out its second season in March, and the series has been seen by more than 30 million users, Snap says.

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