Messaging service Snapchat has announced that it will be introducing some new features with its latest update, which will allow the mobile app to incorporate a whole new revenue stream by essentially turning the hitherto free app into a 'freemium' one, by offering in-app purchase of instant replays of photo and video 'Snaps' received through the app. The Venice, California-based company is asking for $0.99 for three such replays, but each file can only be replayed once. The company will also offer a bundle of 10 replays for $2.99 and 20 replays for $4.99. The introduction of the new feature however, doesn't mean the company is doing away with its daily free replay, which is a feature introduced by the company back in 2013, and allows users to re-watch up to a maximum of one 'Snap' of their liking per day, for free.
The other new feature being introduced by Snapchat as part of its update is the introduction of 'Lenses', a new selfie animation tool that allows pictographic annotations of selfies. The available options for adding such animations and sound effects to images shot through the front-facing camera, can be accessed by long pressing the screen while using the app's camera. The feature however, is device-dependent, and according to the company, works only on new Android smartphones and tablets. The app has also added a third little feature as part of its update, whereby users will be awarded virtual rewards called 'Trophies', although it wasn't immediately clear how you'll be able to earn them. In the absence of any concrete announcement from the company in this regard, anecdotal evidence floating around on the internet seems to suggest that such badges of honor could be earned by sending a certain number of 'Snaps', and racking up a certain number of points. That however, is still in the realms of speculation.
For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a photo and video sharing mobile app, available on the two largest mobile platforms - Android and iOS. The eponymous company behind the highly successful app is based out of Venice, California, and was founded back in 2011 by then Stanford University students Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown. The app allows users to send and receive photos and videos known as 'Snaps', which disappear from both the receiver's phone as well as Snapchat's servers within 1 to 10 seconds, depending on the time limit set by the sender. The company recently reported that it has nearly 100 million active daily users.