(Reuters) – Snap Inc, owner of popular photo-messaging app Snapchat, on Thursday beat analysts’ estimates for both user growth and revenue, but warned that upcoming privacy changes from Apple Inc could hurt the business.

FILE PHOTO: A portrait of the Snapchat logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Shares of Snap declined 6% to $54.70 in trading after the bell.

Snap said Apple Inc’s planned privacy changes, which will ask iPhone users to consent to personalized ads, could present a “risk” to advertiser demand, but added it was unclear how the changes could affect Snap’s business in the long-run.

“The disruption to ad targeting caused by the iOS 14 privacy changes will clearly be a worry for Snap, which has been steadily growing its armory of ad formats and advertisers,” said Tom Johnson at ad agency Mindshare Worldwide.

Daily active users (DAUs), a metric watched by investors and advertisers, rose 22% year-over-year to 265 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Analysts had expected 258 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The app made the biggest gains in regions outside North America and Europe, with 55% growth in daily active users.

Revenue, which Snap generates mainly from ad sales, grew 62% to $911 million, easily beating Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $857.4 million.

Advertisers have been drawn to Snap’s large base of young users, and the company has invested in developing features that appeal to brands including Snap Map, which lets users find local businesses near them.

Snap’s net loss narrowed to $113 million, or 8 cents per share, from $240.7 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company forecast first-quarter daily active users to grow 20% from the prior-year period to 275 million, and revenue to be between $720 million to $740 million.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Cynthia Osterman



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