Last Wednesday evening celebrity Kylie Jenner tweeted that she wasn’t really using Snapchat any more. By Friday, Snap Inc’s share price had dropped $1.3billion and the popular news websites were screaming that Jenner had caused it all:
- Kylie Jenner’s tweet wipes £1bn off value of Snapchat (London Evening Standard)
- Snapchat stock loses $1.3bn after Kylie Jenner tweet (CNN)
- Snap stock plummets after Kylie Jenner declares Snapchat dead (The Verge)
- Kylie Jenner breaks up with Snapchat (Fox News)
…and so on.
Around midday Friday I got an email from BBC Breakfast asking if I’d be prepared to come on and talk about celebrity and social media. Well, of course I would. So that’s how I came to be sitting in a studio in Manchester’s Media City at the sort of time most Saturdays I’d still be in bed, chatting to presenters Jon Kay and Rachel Burden, and showbiz reporter Lucy J Ford.
What’s really interesting – and something we didn’t get to on the live programme, is how celebrities are now completely driving their own news agenda through social media. Famous stars have always had a symbiotic relationship with the media, but today’s celebrity influencers have taken that relationship to the next level.
This news wasn’t so much about Snap or Snapchat, as about a Kardashian trending on Twitter, reinforcing their brand and driving traffic to their website (Kylie is the youngest half sister of Kim, so reality TV and social media are her lifeblood). This tweet was all about Jenner connecting with her followers (24.6 million of them). Snap Inc was collateral damage.
The damage to Snap’s share price may have been done, but it was also incidental. You can see what actually happened in the market summary (via Google) below. There’s a clear decline in stock value after 15.30 Eastern Standard Time, although Jenner’s tweet was posted at 21.50 (Jenner is on the west coast so three hours behind EST).
Although there is indeed a sharp fall in stock value around the time Jenner tweeted, the trajectory was already downwards. Snap’s share price has in fact been falling since the previous week (16 Feb). When you look at the three month picture (below), you can see this as a readjustment after the surge in stock value following the better-than-expected quarterly results at the start of February.
But celebrities and social media make great news, don’t they?