Snapchat adds paid subscription with more features for power users

From The Verge: Starting this week, Snap will begin offering an optional subscription called Snapchat Plus that unlocks exclusive and early access features.

Priced at $3.99 a month, the subscription is geared toward “the people who spend most of their time communicating with their closest friends on Snap,” the company’s SVP of Product, Jacob Andreou, tells The Verge. Dubbed Snapchat Plus, it’s Snap’s first real attempt at making money outside of advertising, though Andreou says there aren’t expectations for Plus to become a “material new revenue source.”

At least initially, Snapchat Plus 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.” (Yes, that last one gives me Myspace vibes, too.) Going forward, Andreou says that “single-playerish” features like the BFF pin will likely remain gated to Plus subscribers, while features that rely on interactions with others will eventually be released to the whole user base.

By introducing a paid tier, it’s natural to wonder if Snap plans to let people pay to turn off ads in the app. Andreou downplays the possibility, saying that “ads are going to be at the core of our business model for the long term.” Even still, it’s clear Snap sees an opportunity to diversify its revenue. Its hardware business hasn’t and likely won’t be meaningful for the foreseeable future, so subscriptions are an obvious area to explore.

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