Snap’s Spotlight Program Led To a 22% Rise In DAUs

Also: Patreon’s push towards creator equity, SMS platforms for creators, podcast advertising consolidation, and more

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Last week: We interviewed Allen Lau, the co-founder and CEO of Wattpad—a self-publishing platform with 90 million users and 5 million writers. Listen to it as a podcast or watch it on YouTube!

And now, onto the news...

Top Stories in the Passion Economy, 02/10/21

Snapchat’s Spotlight Program Led To a 22% Uptick in DAUs

What Happened?

  • Snapchat’s Spotlight program has registered 100 million users two months since its launch, and creators are currently uploading 175,000 videos per day.
  • Snapchat DAUs reached 265 million—a 22% uptick. The company also posted $911 million in Q4 earnings. 
  • To put this into context: Instagram had 500 million DAUs (as of 2019) while TikTok had 50 million DAUs (only in the US, as of August 2020) 

What this means: 


  • Snapchat’s strategy of just throwing money around to incentivize content creation seems to be working. I posted to Snapchat for the first time ever, trying to get that $1 million. (Which I did not.) A lot of creators are really hyped about Spotlight. It has reinvigorated the platform.
  • But I do wonder what the long term potential of this program is. There's a lot of excitement now but most people aren't going to make money. I don't know if they are gonna stick around.


  • I agree with you. Step one of the Spotlight program has worked—people will show up if you pay them to. But that's not sustainable. Snap needs to think about step two—how do you translate this momentum into more organic content creation?  
  • In other words, I think if I were at Snapchat trying to judge whether or not our efforts were succeeding, I would look at what percent of creators keep posting after you stop paying them. Not just the number of posts, but the frequency of posting over time. I’m curious to see what that retention curve looks like.
  • One way to solve for this is to just keep paying creators in perpetuity. Li, do you think they can afford to do that?


  • I think..

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