Snap revenue boosted by gender-bending photo filter

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Shares of Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. soared more than 10 percent in extended trading Tuesday — thanks in part to a viral face filter that can turn a woman into a man and vice versa.

The Los Angeles-based Snap handily beat Wall Street’s expectations for the second quarter, including a revenue jump of 50 percent.

Much of the growth, Snap said, could be attributed to the launch of new augmented reality photo lenses, as well as an improved Android version of its app.

One popular lens, which went viral as soon as it was rolled out, allows users to reverse their gender in photos — giving women short hair and a five-o-clock shadow, while showing men what they would look like with shoulder-length hair and a face full of makeup.

“The popularity of these lenses drew millions of people into our rebuilt Android application, where they experienced the new and improved Snapchat that led to increased engagement,” chief executive Evan Spiegel said in a conference call following the report.

Snap’s revenue, which it earns from selling advertising on the app, jumped nearly 50 percent to $388 million, beating analyst estimates of $359.7 million. The company still lost $255 million, but the loss was down 28 percent over this time last year.

The company said the number of daily active users rose to 203 million in the quarter ended June 30, up from 190 million in the prior quarter.

Shares of Snap jumped 11 percent in extended trading, to $16.52.

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