In Depth

Did Kylie Jenner cost Snapchat £1bn in one tweet?

Reality star blamed for drop in share prices - but market backlash to app’s redesign goes much higher

Snapchat’s parent company lost an estimated $1.3bn from its market value after a disparaging tweet by Kylie Jenner.

The star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, who has 24.5m Twitter followers, revealed her disenchantment with the app on Thursday:

The verdict was especially damning given that Jenner was “one of the first wave of celebrities whose fame grew primarily on Snapchat,” says The Guardian.

Shares in Snap Inc., the company which owns the photo message app, tumbled in the hours after the tweet. At one point share prices fell by as much as 8%, before closing down 6% - taking an estimated $1.3bn (£930m) off its market value.

The fallout from the tweet prompted claims that the 20-year-old reality star had “tanked” the company - despite a “damage control”-style follow-up tweet:

However, business analysts pointed out that there was another significant factor at work behind the plummet in Snapchat shares.

Citi bank downgraded Snap Inc’s rating from “neutral” to “sell” in a note to stock market investors on Thursday morning, hours before Jenner’s tweet.

The downgrade was motivated by a wildly unpopular redesign which has led users to bombard the app with one-star ratings, prompting fears of a mass user exodus.

Citi analysts Mark May and Hao Yan said that the “significant jump” in negative reviews since the redesign, “could result in a decline in users and user engagement, and could negatively impact financial results”, Business Insider reports.

BBC business correspondent Kim Gittleson posted a graph of Snap Inc’s share prices that showed a sharp plunge immediately after the release of the Citi note, followed by a second major drop-off in the hours after Jenner’s tweet.

More than 1.2 million people have signed a petition calling for the update to be reversed.

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