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Angela Lang/CNET

Snapchat grew the number of users in the first three months of 2020 as more people turned to the ephemeral messaging app to keep in touch with their closest friends and family.

Snap, the app’s parent company, said the app had 229 million daily active users in the first quarter, up 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Snapchat had 218 million users in the fourth quarter.

Like other social networks, Snap has seen a surge in usage during the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Snap said that snaps sent between friends and to group chats reached an all-time high but didn’t provide a number. Snapchat users are also using voice and video calling more. The company said calling has grown more than 50% from late February to late March. Last week, Snap launched a resource hub to help businesses. 

“Snapchat is helping people stay close to their friends and family while they are separated physically, and I am proud of our team for overcoming the many challenges of working from home during this time while we continue to grow our business and support those who are impacted by COVID-19,” Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel said in a statement.

COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. 

Snap reported revenue of $462 million, beating Wall Street’s estimates of $428.80 million.

Snap lost 8 cents per share in the first quarter, below the loss of 7 cents per share that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected. Excluding certain expenses such as stock-based compensation, the company lost 21 cents per share, falling short of expectations of a loss of 20 cents per share. 

The company’s stock jumped 20% in after-hours trading to $14.93 per share.

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