Snapchat releases new features exclusively for paid subscribers

Digital
-

Thanks to a raft of newly-available features, Snapchat Plus subscribers can now set their stories to run for up to a week. Additional features that are now available to subscribers include custom notification sounds and colourful camera frames.

Snapchat Plus is Snapchat’s premium subscription tier. For $3.99 per month, subscribers receive a series of exclusive features such as the ability to pin a best friend, the ability to see where friends have been over the past 24 hours, and the ability to see whether people have watched their story more than once.

In addition to these great benefits, Snapchat Plus subscribers will now also be able to set a preferred expiration date on their stories. Those with the feature can choose to set their story to last for as little as an hour or as long as a week. Prior to this update, Snapchat Stories for both free users and Plus subscribers expired after 24 hours.

Similarly, Snapchat Plus subscribers will now also gain the ability to allocate specific tones for different friends. This means that Snapchat Plus users will know who has Snapped them without checking their phones. These users will also have access to other new and exciting features, such as a Camera Colour Border feature that lets users change the border around their Snapchat camera, and three exclusive Halloween Bitmoji backgrounds that can be used to decorate Snapchat profiles.

Although these new features are only available to Snapchat Plus subscribers, they could make their way over to the free-to-use service at a later date. After all, when it launched the Plus subscription earlier this year, Snapchat said that it would contain “a collection of exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features”.

If these features did move to the free version of Snapchat, it would be akin to the strategy employed by Twitter, which has been known to introduce premium features to paid subscribers first (such as tweet editing for Twitter Blue subscribers) before eventually making them available for all users.

Social media platforms and paid subscriptions – the view from Spike

Snapchat’s announcement shows the shifting focus of big social media platforms. Both Snapchat and Twitter are now heavily advancing paid subscription models that offer premium features at a low monthly cost.

While not all social platforms currently follow this model, it’s likely those that don’t are watching with bated breath. If Snapchat Plus and Twitter Blue prove successful over the next 12 months, we could see a big shift in how all social media platforms operate.