Snapchat launched the lens store only a small number of weeks ago, back in September 2015 but we've heard today that the new, up and coming social media service is to shut down the store on Friday. The reason for the lens store closure is because Snapchat is concentrating on its advertising business as a means of generating revenue, rather than charging customers $0.99 for a downloadable, unlimited use lens. According to reports, Snapchat offered sponsored lenses for between $450,000 to $750,000 per day of exposure. Snapchat's advertising business will still include downloadable, sponsored lenses and from Friday, a selection of ten free lenses will still be available for customers to use. The selection of available lenses will change over time.
According to Snapchat, the lens store had been a success, with the business explaining that customers have used tens of thousands of lenses and that around ten million daily images go through its servers using the lenses. Lenses are offered free on a daily basis and should a customer enjoy a particular lens, he or she may pay to have unlimited access to it. On first glance it would not appear sensible to shut down the service, however there may be a clue that Snapchat is to continue to offer sponsored lenses: perhaps the sale of individual lenses downloads to customers is less lucrative than the prospect of selling sponsored lenses to corporate customers. The wholesale sponsorship deals will not include the app store charges, as one advantage.
Snapchat has said that customers who have bought a premium lens will still have access to it following Friday, and it will wait for an undisclosed period of time before offering premium lenses free of charge to customers. As to the wider business picture, we have also seen Snapchat not afraid to shut down under-performing ideas, and it is this business mobility that is causing some analysts to believe the social media company is in danger of threatening smaller competitor social networks (such as Twitter) for 2016, especially in the mobile video market. The business is not afraid to reinvent and reinvigorate its advertising business.