As explained by Snap:
“Today we’re launching Snapchat+, a collection of exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features available in Snapchat for $3.99/month. This subscription will allow us to deliver new Snapchat features to some of the most passionate members of our community and allow us to provide prioritized support.”
And also, make more money, which is a key concern for Snap, which has been hit hard by recent economic shifts, particularly in Europe, leading to reduced ad spend in the app.
As we reported recently, based on initial leaks of the Snapchat+ offering, the new subscription program will include:
- Access to exclusive Snapchat icons
- A new profile badge to show that you’re a Snapchat+ user
- New data insights, including the capacity to see your friends’ location history (over the last 24 hours) and info on who’s rewatched your Story
- The capacity to pin a user in the app as ‘your #1 best friend’
None of those is hugely compelling – they’re not ‘game-changing’ type features that will see mass adoption. But they may appeal to a subset of the most passionate Snap users, and if Snap only signs up, say, 1% of its active user base, that would still equate to an additional $13.2 million in monthly income ($159m p.a.) for the app.
Though even that, based on the take-up of similar options in other apps, could be a stretch.
The program is very similar to Twitter’s ‘Twitter Blue’ add-on package, which enables Twitter users to pay $2.99 per month for access to similar tools.
But Twitter Blue take-up, thus far, has been slow. In its most recent performance update, Twitter reported that its revenue from subscriptions and other non-advertising sources totaled $94 million in Q4 21, which was actually a decrease of 31% for this element, year-over-year. That suggests Twitter Blue isn’t really gaining any traction at all, while Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has also said that Twitter has not hit ‘intermediate milestones that enable confidence’ with its new revenue and growth projects, like Twitter Blue.
Will Snapchat+ fare any better?
It’s obviously impossible to predict – and there is something to be said for the connection that Snapchat users feel to the app, which they use as a key connector with their closest friends.
That enhanced alignment could lead to more paying users – and again, Snap only needs a small percentage of people to take it up to make it a significantly profitable option.
And Snap has repeatedly shown that it understands its audience better than other apps.
It’ll take some time, but maybe, this could be a valuable addition for Snap, and its users.
Snapchat+ will initially be made available to users in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Snapchat says that it will look to further expand access over time.