An ad-supported Snapchat subscription service was launched last month in select countries, including the UAE and the Kingdom, with a company spokesperson telling Arab News it would target the platform’s “most passionate and dedicated community members.”
Snapchat+ costs $3.99 per month and includes a “star” symbol for subscribers, custom app icons to personalize the home screen, a rewatch indicator to see how many people are rewatching their stories, and early access to Snapchat for Web.
“For the first time ever, we have a way to deliver early, experimental, and pre-released features specifically for them, and that’s super exciting,” the spokesman said.
The move comes after a disappointing second quarter for Snap. “While the continued growth of our community increases the long-term opportunity for our business, our financial results for Q2 do not reflect our ambition,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in a statement.
The company has also slowed hiring for the rest of the year.
But the subscription service is not expected to be a significant revenue generator for the company. “We anticipate that most of our revenue will continue coming from advertising,” the spokesperson said.
Snapchat+ will not be ad-free. The spokesperson said: “We believe we can provide a lot of value to subscribers through access to features that enhance the parts of Snapchat they love: the Map, Stories, and Chats with their closest friends. Many mobile app subscription add-ons do not remove ads.”
For now, the platform is trying to gauge the appetite for Snapchat+.
“But given the high engagement we see amongst our community, we believe subscriptions are an interesting model to trial,” the spokesperson said.
In the Middle East, Snapchat+ was only launched in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with the latter seeing Snapchat reach 90 percent of people aged 13–34, according to the spokesperson.
“We wanted to make Snapchat+ available to our highly engaged community members in the region, and we’re excited to expand the offering to additional markets moving forward.”