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Snap faces a major roadblock that Facebook never had right after its IPO, says top analyst

  • Michael Graham says Facebook didn't have Facebook to compete with when it went public.
  • "The fact that every month Snap will be battling Instagram for users is a real difference in the two stories," he says.

Evan Spiegel's Snap faces one major hurdle that Facebook didn't have when it went public five years ago, equity strategist Michael Graham told CNBC on Thursday.

The senior equity strategist at Canaccord Genuity spoke a day after Snapchat's parent fell short of Wall Street expectations for revenue and user growth in its first earnings report as a public company. The report was also an indicator on how the company has fared as Facebook pushes aggressively into its turf.

That's "a big competitor right in front of them," Graham said on "Squawk Box." "The fact that every month Snap will be battling [Facebook's] Instagram for users is a real difference in the two stories."

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the social media company public in May 2012, he faced the rise of Pinterest and Twitter setting records in part from the U.S. presidential election. Facebook acquired Instagram a month earlier.

Snap CEO Spiegel on Wednesday took aim at Facebook's efforts following its first-quarter earnings report.

"People are going to copy your product if you build great stuff," Spiegel said. "Just because Yahoo has a search box doesn't make it Google."

Also on "Squawk Box," former Yum Brands CEO David Novak, a board member of Comcast whose NBCUniversal has a stake in Snap, was asked about Snap's earnings. He said Spiegel should be "more humble" when Facebook and Snap are compared.

"There's plenty of room for the both of them," he added.

Graham said it is "too early to tell" about the impact Facebook will have on Snap's growth.

"Snap is still growing users at a fast rate. It's slowing down a lot, though, he said. "The question on people's minds is that is that slow from Facebook and Instagram creating another Snapchat in a very short amount of time?"

—CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.