Snap Inc has admitted that Britain is its location of choice for a new international hub due to its ‘strong creative industries’. The announcement follows an increased trust in UK tech after results of the recent EU referendum.
The company says that in the category of smartphone users in the UK aged 13 to 34, in excess of 60% make use of Snapchat.
Snap Inc, which was previously called Snapchat, has declared plans to put in place its central international hub in the UK – a decision that goes against recent trends by US tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple, who all use jurisdictions with favourable levels of tax as their international base. Examples include Luxembourg (for Amazon) and Ireland (in the case of Facebook and Apple).
UK’s General Manager of Snap, Claire Valoti, explains: “The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10m daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent.”
Despite the fact that Britain’s exit from the EU hasn’t yet started the pending move is spiking fears in smaller technology companies about the stability of the sector in the UK. However giants Facebook and Google have reinforced their confidence in the UK, by committing to increased investment in the nation.
The new British counterpart will be named Snap Group Chat Limited as a result of US rebranding efforts which saw Snapshat transition to Snap Incorporated. The intention of the name change is to draw attention to Snap’s revised image as a camera company above all: “We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate,” as explained on the company’s website.
The move to a focus on ‘the camera’ was backed up by the company’s second product release ‘Spectacles’ – featuring an in-built Wi-Fi camera. The product, available exclusively via specialised vending machines across the US, has been very popular with consumers – even though not widely available.
The product has yet to reach a global audience, but when that happens revenue is expected to flow through the UK. The UK will both capture its own revenue data and also that of other countries yet lacking in Snap’s presence. The decision is purposeful, in order to synchronise Snap’s corporate structure and the firm’s business.
Snapchat currently attracts over 150 million users with Facebook and Twitter drawing in one billion and 350 million in respective terms. Although smaller, the company has homed in on particular market niches’ in contrast to Facebook and Twitter. With in-excess of 60% of British smartphone consumers between 13 and 34 years utilising Snapchat, eMarketer (the research firm) believe the company could generate advertising revenue exceeding $1 billion in 2017.
Photo credit: Adam Przezdziek