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First up, S+ subscribers will now be able to customize their Camera buttons, including the camera icon, in-app function displays, and more.
Functionally, it means nothing, but it gives you more ways to make your Snapchat experience more your own – which, really, is the key value proposition of the whole Snapchat+ program, via alternative app icons, custom notification sounds, variable color options, etc.
I mean, there are also functional elements, like custom Story expiration times and the capacity to manage how your contacts are displayed. But really, the allure of Snapchat+ is that it works to provide more ways for users to make Snapchat more their own – which, again, has already seen 1.5 million users sign up.
Snapchat+ users will also now be able to apply custom backgrounds to their chats in the app.
While Snap’s also enabling users to gift an S+ subscription for Christmas, which could be a simple means to increase take-up.
It’s difficult to imagine a world where subscription options become a major revenue driver for social apps, largely because we’ve gotten used to the fact that these platforms are available for free, with ads being the price that you pay for access.
Meta has said that its apps will always be available for free, as it gleans more value from mass adoption than it could through access payments, which has been the pervading view for all social apps over time. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had also pledged that a version of Twitter would also be freely available, as part of its business model.
New Twitter owner Elon Musk has sought to push that, with his plans for Twitter Blue subscriptions, but we’re yet to see how many people will actually decide to sign on, and pay $8 per month to access the app.
As with Snapchat+, and the previous iteration of Twitter Blue, history would suggest that only a fraction of users will actually pay, and if that is the case, then it still seems unlikely that subscription programs will become a major thing.
But as a secondary element for power users, they’re also worthy of experiment – and maybe, if the platforms can add in a couple of significantly beneficial elements, maybe they can become more valuable considerations over time.
On that front, Snap is also considering a ‘Story Boost’ element, which would seemingly amplify subscriber Stories to more viewers.
Would that be worth the $3.99 per month for S+?
Either way, Snap’s bringing in close to $6 million p.a. from the program right now. Again, likely worth the experiment.