After dropping almost 8%, shares in Snap closed 6% down on Wall Street, and are now back near the $17 price at which the shares were listed when the company floated on the stock market in March of last year.
Snapchat is facing intense competition from Facebook’s Instagram – especially for celebrity users – and Ms Jenner’s attack comes at a time when investors are already worried.
Even before Ms Jenner’s Tweet, shares had been sliding. This week, analysts at Citi also downgraded the stock, pointing to the negative reaction to the redesign.
Ms Jenner later tweeted a follow-up: “still love you tho snap… my first love”.
The market just doesn’t know what to think of Snap or its Snapchat service. It is either the future of communication – or a social media fad that will last not much longer than one of the messages its army of young users sends.
And that makes a share price which has mostly been built on a very optimistic view of future growth extremely volatile.
Earlier this month it soared by nearly 50% on results that were marginally better than expected – now they’ve taken a minor tumble because a reality star says the new design is “so sad”.
Investors will continue to need strong stomachs – especially when they see how much founder Evan Spiegel is taking home.
Kylie Jenner is not the first celebrity to move markets.
In October 2015, TV host Oprah Winfrey bought a 10% stake in Weight Watchers, endorsing the firm publically at the same time.
Investors saw their shares rise by 92% over successive weeks.
When the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, turned up to an event wearing Versace or another designer brand, Wall Street noted the immediate effect on share prices.
They dubbed it the “Michelle mark-up”.
‘Swings in sentiment’
Snapchat’s shares have been particularly volatile since the company went public last year, with investor profits sometimes evaporating as fast as pictures and messages disappear from the site.
The shares plunged by 17% in August, after disappointing results.
But in the first weeks of this month shares bounced back by almost 50% after Snapchat reported a 72% rise in sales in the last quarter of 2017, with no fewer than 187 million people using the site every day.
“Part of the problem is Snap isn’t profitable at the moment, so there’s a fair amount of hope for the future already baked into the share price, making it particularly vulnerable to swings in sentiment,” said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“Snap’s future rests on building user numbers, so anything which could undermine that journey is naturally going to unsettle investors.”
“It’s a familiar scapegoat many of us have been hearing for decades, one which often acts like a smokescreen to deflect responsibility away from the Second Amendment and lax gun laws.”
John Walker, from games news site Rock Paper Shotgun, told the BBC that it was “disheartening” to hear politicians link video game violence to real world events when research has consistently shown no link.
He said: “The reason this matters, the reason why blaming games for such terrible tragedies against all reasonable proof is so horrifically serious, is it distracts us from identifying and addressing the real causes.
“Statements such as Trump’s are easy, lazy get-outs, noise and bluster to keep people in a position of responsibility from actually doing the difficult, complex, long-term things that might actually help,” said Mr Walker.
Among those teenagers who were the lightest users, it was found that increasing the time spent using technology was linked to improved wellbeing – possibly because it was important for keeping up friendships.
In contrast, among the heaviest users of technology, any increase in time was linked to lower levels of wellbeing.
The researchers suggested that for those teens, technology use might get in the way of taking part in other important activities.
BT must make it easier for rival internet providers to use its telegraph poles, telecoms regulator Ofcom says.
Ofcom has published a list of new measures to make it cheaper for companies to install ultrafast full fibre broadband infrastructure.
Connecting homes directly to the fibre network delivers much faster internet speeds than copper cables.
Rivals Talk Talk and Hyperoptic welcomed the announcement. BT said it was “considering the implications”.
What are the new measures?
Ofcom says full fibre internet is currently available to 3% of UK homes and offices. It hopes to see 6 million buildings connected by 2020.
It said BT must make it easier for rivals to install fibre on its telegraph poles and in its underground tunnels.
It wants a clearer map of where there is capacity on the telegraph poles and in the tunnels for rivals to do so.
Ofcom suggested streets could be connected to full fibre in “hours” rather than days, as companies would no longer have to dig up roads to lay fibre.
It estimated that sharing infrastructure would halve the cost of connecting a home to full fibre – from £500 to £250.
Additionally, BT will be banned from reducing its wholesale prices in areas where rival networks are starting to lay infrastructure.
Openreach, which maintains most of the UK’s telephone lines, will be ordered to repair faulty infrastructure and clear the way for competitors to access its tunnels.
“Openreach must ensure there is space on its telegraph poles for extra fibre cables connecting homes to a competitor’s network,” Ofcom said in a statement.
How have BT and Openreach reacted?
BT said it had “noted” the publication of Ofcom’s proposals.
In a statement, it said the changes would have an “adverse financial impact on Openreach’s revenue and profit” in the region of £80m to £120m.
Addressing the restriction on varying its wholesale prices, BT said it was “considering the implications for full and fair competition”.
Openreach said Ofcom’s statement gave the company “certainty on their approach”.
But it said it had already been letting rival companies use its telegraph poles and tunnels.
“Our ducts and poles have been open since 2011 and we have been sharing a digital map of this network for more than a year,” it said in a statement.
It added that telecoms firms needed to “be certain they can secure a return on their investment” if a nationwide rollout of full fibre was to be realised.
How have telecoms companies reacted?
Talk Talk said the announcement was “good for consumers, competition and investment”. Hyperoptic said the move would strengthen the business case for investment in full fibre networks.
“This will ultimately create a better digital future for the UK, not just serve the interests of BT retail,” said Hyperoptic chief executive Dana Tobak.
Consumer magazine Which? said the changes needed to be made more quickly.
“Consumers are crying out for better broadband… steps to ensure more investment in this vital service can’t come soon enough,” said spokeswoman Alex Neill.
by Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent
Suddenly everyone has gone full fibre. After years of insisting that laying fibre right to the home was too expensive and a copper connection to a kerbside fibre cabinet was absolutely fine, the government has changed its mind.
Now the regulator Ofcom has come in behind the new thinking. To make the sums add up, it is forcing BT to open up its network of tunnels and telegraph poles to its rivals.
Cynics will point out that this was supposed to have happened years ago – but at last the regulator is tightening the screw.
The really bold move would have been to split Openreach off from BT years ago and turn it into a national “fibre to the home” utility.
But that ship has sailed. Ofcom now believes that overlapping fast fibre networks built by BT and its rivals will deliver more innovation and a better deal for consumers.
Is smartphone hardware treading water while industrial designers wait for bendy screens and other flexible, futuristic components to make more radical models possible? And will sales continue to decline until they do?
Samsung is casting a long shadow over this year’s Mobile World Congress.
The technology industry get-together in Barcelona is set to be dominated by the launch of its Galaxy S9 and S9+ handsets.
The reaction from many rivals – including Huawei, HTC and LG – appears to have been to hold off their own flagship launches until later in the year.
Of the few other new phones expected, speculation has focused on how many lenses they will feature, where their fingerprint sensors will be placed, their display dimensions and whether they will retain a headphone jack, rather than any expectation of a major leap forward.
“The tragedy is that we had two decades of incredible innovation with flip-phones, candy-bar phones, sliders, round phones, square phones – all kinds of different things,” said Ben Wood, from the consultancy CCS Insight.
“But the world changed in 2007 when Steve Jobs pulled the iPhone out of his pocket, and had what became the dominant design.
“We’ve since gravitated to the black rectangle with a touchscreen as the form factor of choice, and it feels like we’ve now reached a technology plateau where firms compete by offering marginal changes around the edges.”
Even so, there does appear to be an appetite for something “a bit different”.
The big story from last year’s MWC was the Nokia 3310.
The “reimagined” version of the Finnish company’s classic handset had both physical number keys and a screen that bulged at its bottom.
Its manufacturer, HMD Global, struggled to meet demand when it went on sale, despite several critical reviews.
More revolutionary still, Lenovo has previously shown off a foldable phone concept that wrapped around the wrist.
Both prompted lots of online chatter but have yet to be turned into commercial products.
But change for change’s sake can be a mistake.
Two generations of LG’s curved-screened Flex smartphones left many consumers confused as to what benefit the design had.
And the South Korean company quickly retreated from the G5′s ability to pop off its bottom to allow bolt-on hardware modules to be added, after sales disappointed.
It’s somewhat telling about the current state of smartphone design that when the creative lead of Google’s Pixel 2 discussed his work with the BBC, much of the conversation was dedicated to its colour schemes.
“On the panda one [there's a] very bold, very expressive black-and-white colourway, with… a spark of optimistic colour in the orange power button,” Alberto Villarreal said.
The Mexico-born designer said he had been excited by recent trends in the fashion industry, and in particular the way people were combining formal items with athletics wear.
“The mix-and-match of those neutral tones, with some sparks of colour that make it more sporty, are things we definitely looked at for inspiration,” he said.
When it came to the rest of the design, Mr Villarreal says he took a less-is-more approach.
“One thing that we been very careful about is making sure that when you look at the phone from the front, the attention of the user is focused on the screen.
“So [it was about] removing anything that is distracting from that.
“We have no branding, no buttons. And even details like the front-facing stereo speakers [is] something that we are treating very discreetly, blending with the black front.
“Even the bezels of the phone are black.”
Mr Villarreal declined to discuss how flexible components and other innovations might affect future designs.
But he did say the public should be sceptical when they read reports about technology companies making last-minute hardware changes.
“We were were working on the [Pixel 2] before we had released the previous one,” he said.
“In order to manufacture a product in high-volume, you have to start the pre-production quite a few months before.
“So, I cannot think of major changes that could happen to a product very close to the launch date.”
Handset-makers may currently be more occupied dreaming up new artificial intelligence features and augmented reality capabilities than trying to rethink how mobiles look in the hand.
But recent shipment figures indicate many consumers don’t see these features as compelling reasons to upgrade.
IDC recently reported the global market was down 6.3% over the October-to-December quarter in 2017 compared with the same three months the previous year, while Strategy Analytics put the fall at 8.8%.
China – the world’s biggest market – represented a particular black spot. Local demand for smartphones suffered a 14% year-on-year plunge, according to Canalys.
While absorbing those figures, it’s worth noting that the data would have been even worse had Apple not released the iPhone X – a device that at least looked different to its predecessors, even if it too conformed to the current minimalistic aesthetic trend.
“Hardware is always the easiest thing to sell – if it looks different you get consumers attention, and then you build from there,” said Carolina Milanesi, a consumer technology analyst at Creative Strategies.
“Trying to get someone into a store for something that looks the same as last year is difficult, even if it has new things to offer.”
She added that shop workers often struggled to explain new artificial intelligence and cloud-based facilities, while many consumers had proved suspicious of the privacy implications.
Return of the flip
That’s not to say there aren’t some companies attempting something out of the ordinary.
UK-based Bullit Group – which previously designed a Kodak-branded phone whose rear resembled a compact camera – has a new rugged CAT phone with a smell sensor, and is also promising to unveil a Land Rover-inspired handset at this year’s MWC.
Movie camera-maker Red is developing the Hydrogen One for later in the year. The phone promises a new type of “holographic display” and is intended to have a variety of camera-based modules attached to its back.
And Samsung itself recently launched a modern take on the flip-phone, in China – the W2018 – with screens on both its inside and outside as well as a physical dial-pad.
It is, however, expected to cost upwards of $3,000 (£2,140) – an idiosyncratic look, it seems, can merit an extraordinary price.
White nationalist Jared Taylor is suing Twitter after the social network banned his account as part of a crackdown on abusive content.
Mr Taylor’s lawyer says the suspension of his account is a form of censorship, accusing Twitter of discrimination.
Twitter declined to comment on the case but has previously said that its tools are “apolitical”.
Mr Taylor is head of American Renaissance, a website that champions “racial difference”.
He had his account suspended in December, with Twitter explaining that it prohibited accounts affiliated with the promotion of violence, something Mr Taylor denies applied to him.
Mr Taylor has filed his case in California, in the state Superior Court in San Francisco. He argued that Twitter violated Californian law protecting free speech in public spaces – a law that has not previously been applied to the internet.
His lawyer Noah Peters wrote online that everyone should be “terrified” about what he called Twitter censorship.
“Our lawsuit is not about whether Taylor is right or wrong. It’s about whether Twitter and other technology companies have the right to ban individuals from using their services based on their perceived viewpoints and affiliations.
“Allowing Twitter to censor content is extremely troublesome given Twitter’s self-proclaimed mission to ‘give everyone the power to create and share ideas instantly, without barriers’.”
Social media firms have been under increasing pressure from governments to deal with both fake news and abusive content on their networks.
This week, Twitter banned some accounts suspected of being Russian bots.
Locked-out users had to provide a telephone number which they then had to verify in order to prove they were real.
That purge has also drawn a lot of criticism, with some users raising concerns that the lock-out was aimed at accounts expressing right-wing political beliefs.
Similar challenges to Twitter’s account closures have been filed before. Conservative activist Charles Johnson has a lawsuit against Twitter pending in California after he was banned in 2015.
In it, he describes his vision of a timepiece that ticks once every year, with a century hand that moves just once every 100 years and a cuckoo that emerges every 1,000.
The clock is designed to capture energy from changes in temperature to power its timekeeping apparatus, according to the Long Now Foundation. But it will not be able to store enough energy to display the time unless visitors “wind” it with a hand-turned wheel.
Bezos shared a video of the clock’s construction on Twitter on Tuesday:
The project has attracted the support of influential artists and thinkers in addition to Bezos, whose contribution of $42 million (£30m) makes him its largest financial backer.
British musician Brian Eno, famous for his ambient compositions, has built a mechanical melody generator that will produce a different chime sequence every day for 10,000 years. Like the clock hands, the chimes will only work if visitors power the clock.
The first prototype of the clock, which was completed in 1999, is now on display at the Science Museum in London.
According to the Long Now Foundation, visitors will be able to hike to the site to see the finished product.