Snap has announced Snapchat Plus, a $3.99 per month subscription plan for its social platform that unlocks exclusive early access features.
The announcement comes after Snap made a disappointing sales forecast for the current quarter when it announced its first-quarter results in April.
The company’s chief financial officer said at the time that macroeconomic conditions such as supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and inflation were affecting advertising, the company’s main source of income.
And the Snapchat Plus subscription plan can help the company diversify its revenue sources, although the company does not expect the plan to become a substantial new source of income.
The subscription plan is aimed at people who spend most of their time communicating with their closest friends on Snapchat. The subscription plan represents the company’s first real attempt to make money outside of advertising.
Most notable features include the ability to change the app icon style, see who has re-viewed a story, and pin one of your friends to the top of your chat history as your best friend forever.
Snapchat is aimed at premium users
It’s possible that individual features such as pinning a Best Friend Forever will remain limited to Snapchat Plus subscribers. Whereas, features that rely on interactions with others are released to the entire user base.
But it appears the company is not planning to let people pay to turn off ads in the app. She downplayed the possibility, saying that advertising remains at the heart of our business model for the long term.
However, Snap clearly sees an opportunity to diversify its revenue. Snap’s hardware business likely wasn’t meaningful for the foreseeable future, and it probably won’t be. As a result, subscriptions are an obvious area to explore.
It is noteworthy that other social media platforms have recently launched subscription services. In 2021, Twitter announced a Blue subscription that provides ad-free access to other sites for $2.99 per month. The chat app Telegram also introduced a premium subscription in June. Discord has been making money for years with its optional Nitro subscription.
The Snapchat subscription is launched in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.