Snap Inc. is beginning the rollout of Snapchat+, a subscription tier promising “exclusive, experimental and prerelease features” as well as priority support for a monthly fee of $3.99. Targeting “our most passionate users,” Snapchat+ will be available at launch in the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with plans for further expansion as the tier evolves. The Snapchat+ launch follows similar moves by Twitter, with Twitter Blue, and Meta Platforms, with Facebook Subscriptions as social platforms seek to supplement advertising with additional revenue streams.
“Snapchat operates an ephemeral-messaging platform with more than 300 million daily active users, who can exchange photos and bite-sized videos with others,” writes The Wall Street Journal, referring to the fact that Snapchat servers are designed to automatically delete Snaps after they’ve been viewed by all recipients. The company’s popularity revolves largely around its extensive collection of filters. About half a million filters are added to the library each month.
In May, Snap stock plunged 30 percent after the company said it would miss Q2 earnings targets and fall short of its original 20-25 percent growth prediction. The downturn resulted in Snap announcing it had slowed hiring and spending.
The Verge says that “at least initially, Snapchat+ is mostly a cosmetic upgrade. The most notable features include the ability to change the style of the app’s icon, see who rewatched a story, and pin one of your friends to the top of your chat history as a ‘BFF.’” Snap SVP of product Jacob Andreou says the company does not expect Snapchat+ to become a “material new revenue source.”
“Twitter and Telegram have rolled out their own subscriptions aimed at pro users, and Discord has made money for years through its optional Nitro subscription,” The Verge notes.
Andreou had informal conversations with people who work for streaming services with ad-supported tiers. “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,” Andreou told The Verge.