Snap Inc. launched on Wednesday a paid subscription version of the Snapchat app in the US priced at $3.99 dollars per month.
It is dubbed Snapchat Plus and includes exclusive features that aren’t available to standard users.
This brings to market Snapchat’s first-ever subscription version in a major step away from a revenue model, dependent mostly on advertising.
The app is also made available in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Snap Inc. indicates that with time, it will extend the version to users in other countries.
Snap missed revenue and profit targets
Social media firms are under pressure as companies cut back on advertising budgets in response to rising costs and fading consumer spending.
Last month, Snap said it would miss revenue and profit targets for the second quarter and would have to slow down hiring and lower spending, sending its shares down over 40 percent in a single day.
Jacob Andreou, head of products at Snap Inc., said, “Snapchat Plus has been built for the platform’s most dedicated userbase. With this version, we have this incredible ability to build and deliver features directly to our most passionate and dedicated users.
“Now for the first time ever we have this channel to build and ship and deliver products specifically for them, and that’s super exciting.”
New features on Snapchat Plus
Several initial features will be included in the Snapchat paid version.
Rewatch Indicator is among these features. It shows how many people are re-watching stories or are, once again, looking at photos and videos that are posted to a user’s feed.
The ‘Custom App Icons’ allows Snapchat Plus users to choose from a variety of designs for the Snapchat app icon on their home screen.
Additionally, the ‘Ghost Trails on Snap Map,’ which shows the general direction of travel of friends who have recently moved if they have explicitly agreed to share their location is another such feature.
Another Snapchat Plus feature, Snapchat Plus Badge, simply adds a star to show which Snapchatters are subscribers.
Snapchat Plus will also provide for regular drops of new features, so even if users tire of the initial features, there will be more to test out.
Much like the standard Snapchat experience, however, Snapchat Plus users will still have to endure ads while they shell out the £3.99-a-month subscription price.