Snapchat started selling a supplemental membership service called Snapchat Plus in late June that unlocks early access and premium features.
According to the company, the $3.99 per month membership is aimed at users who use Snapchat primarily for communication with their closest friends. It is Snapchat’s first serious effort to generate income other than through advertising, and it is called Snapchat Plus (Snapchat+), though there are not any aspirations for Plus to grow into a significant new revenue source for now.
Will Turning off Ads by Users Be Charged?
Snapchat Plus is just a cosmetic update, at least at first. The ability to alter the appearance of the app’s icon, the ability to view who has watched a story more than once, and the ability to mark a buddy as your “BFF” at the top of your chat record are among the standout additions (yes, we also get a Myspace feeling from that last one). The BFF pin and other single-player-centric features will likely continue to be restricted to Plus subscribers in the future, while social-based elements will eventually be made available to all users.
It makes sense to question if Snap intends to charge users to turn off adverts in the app after adding a paid tier. The company downplays the likelihood, claiming that ads will remain the cornerstone of our long-term business strategy. Snapchat still clearly sees a chance to diversify its sources of income, though. Subscriptions are a logical area to investigate since the company’s hardware business has not been significant and probably will not be for the foreseeable future.
In addition to Twitter, Telegram, and Discord, Snap is not the only social media platform to launch a premium layer recently. Discord has been making money with its optional Nitro membership for years. Many other paid streaming services have already established ad-supported categories or are in the process of establishing them. The levels where these providers can inject advertising but only monetize a smaller portion of the game ended up being their most profitable and useful ones.
Is Snapchat Plus a Reaction to the Company’s Declining Revenue?
Should the announcement’s timing, which comes just one month after Snap issued a warning about declining revenue growth minimizes, be diminished? Apparently, ever since at least 2016, Snapchat has been considering a paid service, yet we still recognize a sense of urgency. The feature, which was just recently found in the coding of the app, was referred to by the firm as an early internal test. The key markets for Snapchat are now seeing a swift rollout of it: the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, France, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
Trying to monetize Snap’s and everybody else’s main chat feature (we are talking about apps) without using ads is very much challenging. There are more grounds than ever before to figure it out right now because Snap’s stock price is currently trading below its IPO price in 2017. Therefore, even while Plus is not anticipated to initially have a significant impact on the market, we interpret this as an indication that Snapchat is aware of the need to find additional, quick sources of income.
The Paid Snapchat Subscription Is Already Successful
With its paid membership service Snapchat Plus, Snap is experiencing some early success. Since introducing Snapchat Plus, the business claims that it has gathered 1 million paying customers.
As previously mentioned, at $3.99 per month, Snapchat Plus subscribers receive early and exclusive access to options like customizing the app icon and viewing who rewatched your story. The first significant product for paying customers, Snapchat for desktop, was made available to subscribers in July.
Additionally, Snapchat is launching a fresh set of features for its over 1 million Plus customers today. One of the enhancements is priority story answers, which increases the visibility of Plus subscribers’ comments when responding to Snap Stars (public figures with a verified Snapchat presence). Other enhancements are purely aesthetic, such as new app icon designs and customized backgrounds for users’ Bitmoji characters. The ability to add an emoji that friends can see after viewing a Snapchat will also be available to subscribers.
In an effort to create new revenue streams, Snap launched its paid tier. It is one of several businesses that have been impacted by changes to Apple’s privacy settings that were made last year and which destroyed its advertising business, which is a crucial source of revenue for Snap.
Plus’ first success coincides with Snapchat’s indication of displeasure with its performance. Along with the blow to advertising, the company is dealing with broader economic issues, slower business development, and employee layoff plans. However, the message to investors is that Snap is attempting to turn things around. They already made a breakthrough in 2014 by allowing companies from various niches to freely advertise on their platform, even from niches that were not looked favorably upon by social networks. Here we mean gambling niche, whose operators – sites powered by top-level software providers, such as Relax Gaming casinos – were making the list of companies using Snapchat for marketing purposes grow more and more.