Snapchat launches £3.99 a month subscription that allows users to access to new and exclusive features and customisation options
- Snap Inc’s new subscription service offers exclusive and ‘experimental’ features
- Custom App Icons lets users choose new app icon designs for their homescreen
- Best Friends Forever lets users pin one friend as their number one BFF on the app
- Snap Inc told MailOnline it got the idea of a subscription service eight years ago
Snapchat has launched a £3.99-a-month subscription service, called Snapchat Plus, featuring exclusive and ‘experimental’ features that aren’t available to standard users.
Snapchat Plus, which rolls out from Wednesday, is Snapchat’s first ever subscription model and initially includes six new and exclusive features.
These include ‘Rewatch Indicator’, which shows how many people are rewatching Stories – the photos and videos that are posted to a user’s feed.
Meanwhile, ‘Custom App Icons’ lets Snapchat Plus users choose from a variety of designs for the Snapchat app icon on their homescreen, including an LGBT-friendly rainbow icon and a Ukrainian flag icon, in respect of Russia’s war on the country.
Meanwhile, ‘Best Friends Forever’ gives Snapchat Plus users the ability to pin one friend as their number one ‘BFF’.
From Wednesday, Snapchat Plus is available in the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, although it will expand to users in more countries ‘over time’.
However, like the standard Snapchat experience, Snapchat Plus users will still have to endure ads while they shell out the £3.99-a-month subscription price.
Snapchat Plus is a collection of exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features available in Snapchat for $3.99/month. This subscription delivers new Snapchat features to some of the most passionate members of the Snapchat community, the firm said
‘Best Friends Forever’ gives Snapchat Plus users the ability to pin one friend as their number one ‘BFF’
‘Custom App Icons’ lets Snapchat Plus users choose from a variety of designs for the Snapchat app icon on their homescreen
Snap Inc, the Santa Monica, California-based company behind Snapchat, currently has no plans to replace its primary advert-based model, but it said the subscription model is ‘an interesting model to pursue’.
Jacob Andreou, head of product at Snap Inc, said that Snapchat Plus has been build for the platform’s most dedicated userbase.
‘With Snapchat Plus we have this incredible ability to now to build and deliver features directly to our most passionate and dedicated users,’ he told MailOnline.
‘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.’
Among the other features are ‘Ghost Trails on Snap Map’, which shows the general direction of travel for where friends have moved recently, but only if they have explicitly agreed to sharing their location.
Snap Maps, which users need to turn on, allows users to see where their friends are in the world and what they were doing when they posted their most recent Snaps.
Another Snapchat Plus feature, Snapchat Plus Badge, simply adds a star to show which Snapchatters are subscribers.
SNAPCHAT PLUS FEATURES
– Rewatch Indicator – shows how many people are rewatching Stories
– Custom App Icons – lets users customize their homescreen Snapchat App icon.
– Snapchat Plus Badge – a special star designation to show which Snapchatters are subscribers. This can be turned on and off and is off by default.
– Best Friends Forever – gives the ability to pin one friend as your number one best friend, and a new way to celebrate friendship on Snapchat.
– Solar System – a special badge on a Friendship Profile Shot.
– Ghost Trails on Snap Map – shows the general direction of travel for where friends have moved recently (if they have explicitly agreed to sharing their location). This is similar to the existing ‘Map Moves’ Snap Map feature which appears when a friend has recently traveled.
Andreou said the idea of a subscription model from has been around for about eight years at Snap Inc, around the time he joined the company.
The recent introduction of a subscription-based model from Twitter was therefore not really influential, although Andreou said the firm ‘certainly pays attention to everything happening around us’.
On Snapchat Plus, there will be regular drops of new features, so even if users tire of the initial six features there will be more to come to try out.
These first six features have been specifically designed for inclusion in this new subscription model, Andreou added.
He said it’s been inspired by the seasons in video games, such as Fortnite, where new features are regularly unlocked for users.
‘This idea that every six weeks, every two months, every three months, stuff that you get as someone who has subscribed to the service is actually changing and evolving, that it’s this living, breathing thing – that was something we really loved,’ he told MailOnline.
‘And that’s something that’s not as present in a lot of digital platforms that do this.’
It’s possible that some new features will appear on Snapchat Plus first before being rolled out to the standard model.
But largely Snapchat Plus is intended as a place for exclusive features that Snapchatters would not be able to access anywhere else, he said.
Andreou also mentioned the new drone-like flying camera from the firm, called Pixy, which can take photos from the air before landing in a user’s palm.
‘We started getting interested in something like a drone maybe 2017 or 2016 and it took us a long time to figure out what version of it we wanted to do.
‘We have [ideas] like this in the back of our mind and then we really take our time to try and find the right way to do it.’
SNAP LAUNCHES A $230 FLYING CAMERA CALLED PIXY
It’s best known for its social media app, Snapchat, but Snap has launched a new piece of hardware – a flying camera.
The flying camera, called Pixy, was unveiled at Snap’s Partner Summit in April, and is described as a ‘free-flying sidekick that’s a fit for adventures big and small’.
Pixy does not require a controller or any set-up, and instead operates on its own, snapping selfies for you before landing in your palm.
With a price tag of $229.99, Pixy is designed to be a companion to Snapchat, with videos filmed wirelessly transferring and saving into the Snapchat app.
Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of Snap, said: ‘Everything you need to capture the spontaneity and fun of the moment from new perspectives is right in the palm of your hand. With the simple tap of a button, Pixy takes flight and joins you on your journey.’
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