Snap, the company behind messaging startup Snapchat, has chosen the UK as its first headquarters outside the US because of the country’s “strong creative industries” and 10 million daily Snapchatters.
The company confirmed the news today (10 January) after a report by the Financial Times.
“We believe in the UK creative industries. The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 milllion daily Snapchatters are, and where we have already begun to hire talent,” says Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group Limited in the UK.
A spokeswoman says the move was a “common sense decision”, as it will align its corporate structure with its business.
Its UK entity will book revenue from sales made to customers in the UK. In countries where the company has no local salesforce, the clients will be served by the UK team.
The brand currently has more than 75 staff in the UK, up from six this time last year. It has a three-story office in central London and will soon open an additional site nearby.
Snapchat, which has more than 150 million daily active users globally, seemingly distanced itself from the social media space by removing the ‘chat’ from its name and rebranding to just Snap Inc in September last year.
In 2016, it focused heavily on innovation by launching ‘Snapchat Spectacles’ – glasses that can record 30 second videos and look very much like the younger, trendier sibling of Google Glass. It also launched group chat, on-demand geofilters and ‘Memories’, which is the brand’s version of a camera roll.
Snap’s decision is in contrast to other social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, which have chosen other locations for their main European offices such as Dublin, Ireland or Luxembourg, seemingly to take advantage of their lower tax.