Snapchat is set to bring features like snapping, chatting, and video calling to desktop via a new web app.
This would be the first time the American company would be making its service available beyond smartphones.
Users can now use Snapchat for Web to log in to their Snapchat account and send private messages or call friends on their desktop system. The new web platform will for the time being be exclusively available to Snapchat Plus subscribers, with subscribers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand getting access first. It will though only be compatible with Google’s Chrome browser and not Apple’s Safari.
Created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, Snapchat was mooted to be a visual-first messaging app, but Nathan Boyd, the head of messaging product of the company said a web offering became part of the plan because it was discovered that its users use desktop computers more frequently.
Snapchat for Web offer users the extra space to chat and call in the same window, and with plans to broaden its use in the future, the Snap’s AR Lenses is expected to be launched soon.
Boyd is of the understanding that Snap will bring more of its products to web over time with the increase in the use of computers in recent times, which was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Snapchat for Web still opens to the webcam or camera of users, affording them the leverage to edit their Bitmoji from the web.
With Snapchat known to be popular among the millennials, the new feature for web afford younger generations the opportunity to represent a new, mobile-first direction for social media, with the app famed for placing significant emphasis on users interacting with virtual stickers and augmented reality objects.
Boyd also posited that about 100 million people monthly call each other on Snapchat, while they spend an average of more than 30 minutes a day, noting that chatting is typically the last thing people do before closing the app.
“We are always looking for ways to meet our community where they are,” he says in an interview. “It just felt like something that was an unmet opportunity.”
Snap Inc with the new rollout of the web expansion apart from taking its paid tier to a bigger level in addition to satisfying its numerous users, will be thinking of additional ways to monetize its 332 million daily active users.
Even though the desktop version is not expected to initially have ads, the Snapchat for Web feature will maintain and propel the company’s popularity, and in the process attract more users romancing the paid features.