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Snapchat launches paid subscription service, but it doesn’t remove ads

In brief: Snap has formally launched Snapchat+, a paid service that grants subscribers early access to exclusive, experimental and pre-release features. Snap is billing the service as a way to deliver new features to its most passionate community members and a gateway to providing prioritized support.

Snap didn’t mention any specific features included with Snapchat+, but SVP of Product Jacob Andreou told The Verge that notable launch features include the ability to see who rewatched a story, an option to change the style of the app’s icon and the ability to pin a friend at the top of your chat history as a BFF.

Andreou told the publication that “single-playerish” features such as the BFF pin will likely remain behind the paywall while wider-reaching features will eventually be rolled into the main Snapchat app.

Notably, Snapchat+ doesn’t disable ads meaning subscribers won’t get any relief on that front. Put another way, subscribers are just paying to be beta testers for new features. For Snap, it could help expedite the rollout of new features to all users and serve as another stream of revenue on top of its advertising business. The company has also explored hardware with its Spectacles sunglasses and Pixy drone in hopes of boosting revenue.

The service is launching in a handful of territories today including the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. More countries will be added over time, we’re told. To get started, simply tap Snapchat+ on your Snapchat profile.

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