Friday, February 23, 2018

Kylie Jenner as market mover? Can the world get any crazier?

I’m not much for keeping up with the Kardashians.Pretty much what I know about them is that the women’s names all start with K, that they have black hair (unless they strip dye it blonde), and that Caitlyn Jenner used to be part of the pack.Sort of. I know that Kim Kardashian is probably the most famous one, mostly because she’s married to Kanye West. And that the pre-Jenner paterfamilias was OJ’s lawyer. With all these threads, it’s pretty clear that they tap into the country’s zeitgeist big time. (OJ, Kanye, Caitlyn Jenner, celebrity power, and the entire notion of famous for being famous. Wow, just wow.)

Although Klan Kardashian is always out there, running below the consciousness of the average American online media consumer whether they actively look at Kardashian “stuff” or not, I was still surprised to see Kylie Jenner front and center on Bloomberg yesterday. Yet there it was:

Shares of the Snapchat parent company sank 6.1 percent on Thursday, wiping out $1.3 billion in market value, on the heels of a tweet on Wednesday from Kylie Jenner, who said she doesn’t open the app anymore. Whether it’s the demands of her newfound motherhood, or the recent app redesign, the testament drew similar replies from her 24.5 million followers. Wall Street analysts too have begun to notice, citing recent user engagement trends noticed since the platform’s redesign.

Here’s what Kylie – new mom of a baby girl named Stormi, by the way, a name that seemingly trumps those that her sister Kim has come up with for her kids: North, Saint, and Chicago – had to say that set the market moving:

sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad.

sooo, guess I’m just a sad little nobody, because I never opened Snapchat to begin with. Ugh. This is so sad. Sometimes I just weep for myself.

And it wasn’t just Kylie Jenner questioning Snapchat.

Shortly after she tweeted out her disparagement of what was once the hot platform, Maybelline polled its followers, asking them to give a mascara pen up or down with respect to whether they should stay on Snapchat.

And why shouldn’t Kylie and Maybelline ask the big question and throw a little shade Snapchat’s way?

After all, there are plenty of more popular social media platforms out there. There’s old fuddy-duddy Facebook, still leading the pack thanks to all those grandparents out there sharing baby pictures. And Insta, Twitter, and Pinterest both outpacing Snapchat.

Kylie’s not getting all the blame, but she was apparently on to something, as there’s been a general bad reaction to a recently introduced redesign of the app:

Citigroup analyst Mark May downgraded the stock to sell from neutral earlier this week after seeing a “significant jump” in negative reviews of the app’s redesign. He expects the reviews could cause user engagement to fall, hurting financial results.

Since I don’t know what the Snapchat interface was to begin with, and thus couldn’t appreciate the changes to the app that are riling up Snapchatters, I have no opinion about whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. But users have even gotten up a petition going. And when I looked, it had over 1.2.million signatures and counting. (Didn’t used to be for social justice warriors out to remake the world, not for social media warriors interested in stuff like “Remove the new Snapchat Update”?

Ms. Kylie did backtrack a bit:

"Still love you tho snap," Jenner hedged in a later tweet.

But the damage was done.

Kylie Kardashian Jenner, market mover. Who’da thunk it?

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