Snapchat is among the best social messaging apps, featuring over 332 million active users daily. The platform was initially free; however, last week reports are emerging that the company will roll out a paid subscription called Snapchat Plus, and now it has been officially unveiled.
The optional upgrade will be available for $3.99 a month. It is directed toward “the people who spend most of their time communicating with their closest friends on Snap,” according to Jacob Andreou, the company’s SVP of Product.
In talking to The Verge, the executive dubs the effort of Snapchat to introduce a premium as the company’s first attempt to generate money apart from the advertisements. However, he does suggest that the measure isn’t expected to become a “material new revenue source.”
Snapchat Plus has introduced several exclusive features, notable ones include the ability to change the app’s icon style, view who re-watched your story, and pin any friend at the top of chat history, marking it as ‘BFF.’
Andreou also claims that “single-playerish” features such as BFF pin will be available to plus users. In contrast, other interaction-based features will eventually be available to the entire user base.
No more ads for the paid members?
Some speculations claimed Snapchat Plus users will be able to turn off the in-app ads, but Andreou quickly downplayed the chance stating, “ads are going to be at the core of our business model for the long term.”
Snapchat certainly sees a chance to diversify its revenue sources. Since the hardware business isn’t and probably won’t be meaningful for the future, subscription is an attractive area to explore.
Snap is taking the same route as other notable platforms like Telegram, Twitter, and Discord have taken over the years. Andreou also talked about some informal conversations with paid streaming service workers–several of whom have already added the ad-supported tiers while others are doing it. “Those tiers where they are monetizing less but can inject ads end up being their most lucrative and most beneficial tiers,” he adds.
Snap encountered a slow revenue growth as he mentions that he has been working on the paid subscription since 2016. The company announced the early internal test after it was revealed in the app code two weeks ago.
The service is quickly being launched in the company’s top markets, including the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, U.S., Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Saudi Arabia.