Snapchat joins the list of social media platforms offering its services for a monthly subscription. Starting this week, Snap is offering its paid service called the Snapchat Plus, this service unlocks exclusive and early access to new features. With the new paid version, Snapchat is catering for its so-called power users, users will have to make a subscription fee monthly and get exclusive features that regular Snapchat users won’t get.
The paid version of the social platform is priced at $3.99/month. The company’s SVP of Product, Jacob Andreou disclosed that the new service is geared at “people who spend most of their time communicating with their closest friends on Snap.” Snapchat Plus is Snap’s first real attempt at making money outside of advertising, though Andreou says, for now, the company isn’t expectant for Plus to become a “material new revenue source” but hopes the service changes trends in the future.
The most notable features coming to Snapchat Plus include access to selected features before all their users, the ability to change the style of the app’s icon, the ability to pin one of your friends to the top of your chat history as a “BFF” and also the ability to identify who rewatched a story. For now, Andreou disclosed that access to exclusive features like the BFF pin will likely remain available to only Plus subscribers, while features that rely on interactions with others will be released to the non-subscribing users.
By introducing a paid version of Snap, it’s only natural to imagine that ads would be turned off in the app. Andreou downplays the possibility as Snap will continue to serve ads for all its users irrespective of being subscribed or not. Andreou states that “ads are going to be at the core of our business model for the long term.” Even still, it’s clear Snap sees an opportunity to diversify its revenue. Its hardware business hasn’t and likely won’t be meaningful in the coming future, so subscriptions are an obvious area to explore for the social media platform.
Snap wouldn’t be the first to introduce a paid version of its social app, Twitter and Telegram have rolled out subscriptions targeted at pro users who want more. Discord as well is on the is the list, as it has made money for years through its Nitro subscription. Andreou however hinted about informal conversations he has had with a few paid streaming services — many of which plan on adding ad-supported tiers to their platforms. “Those tiers where they are monetizing less but are able to inject ads actually end up being by far their most lucrative and most beneficial tiers,” he says.
Snap announces the paid version of its social app just a month after hinting at its slowing revenue growth. This quickly, therefore, put the Snap team in a position to seek other revenue-generating sources. Andreou disclose that the Snap team has been thinking about offering a paid version of the social app since 2016. The company called Snapchat Plus an “early” internal test after it was discovered in the app’s code just two weeks ago. Today Snapchat Plus has been released and is focusing on some of the top Snap markets, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia,