January 30, 2019
Snap Inc. is reportedly mulling the introduction of longer lasting or permanent content to its popular Snapchat app, which has found a significant audience with a model based on disappearing photos and videos. Changing its most iconic feature would mark a major departure for Snap, but could lead to a much needed revenue source for the company if it doesn’t alienate its current users. Snapchat, which launched in 2011, is particularly popular with teens and millennials. Snap is also said to be considering an option that would allow for identifying users who create public posts.
“Together the changes would mark a big step in Snap’s effort to lure and keep users by making content shared publicly via the ‘Our Story’ section, more available outside Snapchat,” reports Reuters. “They could also create a new revenue source for money-losing Snap, which has seen its user base shrink and executives flee the company.”
“Incentivizing publishers to use public snaps could help bring in more ad revenue for the company,” notes Mashable. “It could also potentially boost Snap’s visibility and make it more relevant when newsworthy events happen, much the same way that news organizations often rely on content from Twitter and Facebook.”
However, Snap could also risk losing users who are concerned about privacy, especially during a time when other social platforms such as Facebook have been facing severe criticism in how they handle user data.
Insiders suggest Snap is being careful in weighing its plans. “Only Snapchat photo and video content shared to ‘Our Story,’ which shares the snaps publicly to a wider audience and not just a user’s friends, would be affected and users would still have the option of deleting those stories,” explains Reuters.