Snap Shares Continue To Plunge As Investors Flee Its Narrow Moat

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The news must have been particularly depressing for Snap (NYSE: SNAP) investors. Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the parent of Google, had offered it $30 billion before Snap’s IPO. After a 41% drop in Snap’s share price in the last three months, its market cap is down to $16 billion. And, Google is preparing more ways to take Snap’s business. Snap has one of the major hallmarks of businesses which are in trouble. It has a narrow moat, and too many other companies can compete with it without years of preparation

Google is developing technology to let publishers create visual-oriented media content along the lines of Snapchat’s “Discover,” according to people familiar with the situation, upping the ante in a race among tech giants to dominate news dissemination on smartphones.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has been in discussions with several publishers, including Vox Media, CNN, Mic, the Washington Post and Time Inc., TIME to participate in the project, which is dubbed “Stamp,” the people say. It could be announced as early as next week, one of the people said.

Another example of the moat problems is the ongoing success of Instagram. MarketWatch recently pointed out:

Snap Inc. hit its lowest prices yet Wednesday, as rival Facebook Inc.’s FB,  Instagram openly crowed about the success of its Stories offering, which mimics Snapchat’s feature of the same name. On the anniversary of the launch of its Stories feature, Instagram noted in a blog post that 250 million people used its Stories function daily, with users younger than 25 spending 32 minutes a day in the Instagram app and older users averaging 24 minutes a day in the app.

The moat trouble offers companies another particular challenge. They often cannot widen their moats without substance R&D, the introduction of new products and features, and the successful marketing and promotion of those features. There is nothing on Snap’s horizon which fits that description