Snapchat launches premium version for its power users
- It is initially prices at $3.99 a month
- It is available in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France and Saudi Arabia
- It will have a TikTok-like feature called Spotlight
Snap Inc launched its premium version of the app in the US, pricing it at $3.99 a month, in a major step away from a revenue model based on advertising. The app has also launched in other markets.
Earlier this month, the company teased the paid version, called Snapchat+ and had said that it would be available in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at launch.
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However, Jacob Andreou, Snapchat’s Senior Vice President of Product, told The Verge that “ads are going to continue to be at the core of our business model for the long run.” According to Andreou, Snapchat+ hasn’t been built on the expectations of being another “material revenue source” but is instead meant for core users who spend most of their time communicating with their friends through the app.
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In recent years, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, both companies under Meta, have come under pressure as consumer spending dips in response to rising costs. Last month, Snapchat had said that it would be missing revenue and profit targets for the second quarter. In response to the situation, the company decided to cut back on spending and slow hiring. The market responded by sending its shares down over 40% in a single day, but managed to recover eventually. The drop took other social media stocks with it too.
Features of the premium version include the ability to change the app’s icon, let users post and rewatch stories, pin users in their chats as “BFF” and even scroll through a TikTok-like feature that it calls Spotlight. The feature was first discovered by a Twitter user by the name of Alessandro Paluzzi, a mobile developer and a reverse engineer.
Late last year, the company had launched a pair of Augmented Reality glasses, and much like the Google Glasses, to a lukewarm response.