Snapchat on Wednesday officially rolled out Snapchat+ (Snapchat Plus), a paid subscription service that offers a collection of exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features, which are not available for free members.
“Over 332 million people worldwide use Snapchat every day to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together. We’ve always enjoyed creating new features for our community, and historically we’ve tested new features in different ways, rolling them out to various Snapchatters and geographies,” Team Snap said in a news release about Snapchat+.
“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.”
Snapchat Plus is mostly a cosmetic upgrade rather than an enhancement of user experience. Initially, paid subscribers will receive new features like the ability to pin one friend as their number one ‘BFF’ (best friend forever) as well as special profile badges, Jacob Andreou, Snap’s Senior Vice President of Product, told The Verge.
Subscribers will also be able to see has who re-watched Stories – the photos and videos that are posted to a user’s feed. Additionally, Snapchat+ users can customize the app’s icon on their home screen by selecting from a variety of designs available.
Going forward, Andreou says that “single-playerish” features like the BFF pin will likely remain exclusive to Plus subscribers, while other features that “rely on interactions with others” may eventually be released for the general userbase.
Strangely, the new paid subscription for the social app will continue to include advertisements just like the free Snapchat service.
Andreou says that “ads are going to be at the core of our business model for the long term”. While Snapchat+ could help the company expand its revenue sources, he said that the company doesn’t expect the new subscription service to be a “material new revenue source.” Instead, Snapchat+ is aimed directly at “the people who spend most of their time communicating with their closest friends on Snap.”
Snapchat+ will cost for $3.99/month. At launch, the paid subscription plan will be available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates with more countries expected to be added over time.
Not just Snapchat, other social media platforms also have rolled out their paid subscription services recently. For instance, in 2021, Twitter launched its “Twitter Blue” service that offers exclusive access to premium features and app customizations for a fee of $2.99 per month. Similarly, in June 2022, messaging app Telegram too introduced Telegram Premium, a paid subscription service that gives Premium users access to exclusive features for $4.99 a month.