Amid rising revenue pressures, which forced the app to company a profit warning last month, Snapchat is exploring a new potential monetization pathway, via a new subscription service called ‘Snapchat+’ which would give users access to new a range of exclusive and experimental app features and tools.
As you can see in this example, shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Snapchat+ would come with variable payment tiers, with a free, one-week trial option as well, enabling you to test out what’s on offer via the service.
At present, in this early iteration, that offering includes:
- Access to exclusive Snapchat icons
- A new profile badge to show that you’re a Snapchat+ user
- New data insights, including the capacity to see your friends’ location history (over the last 24 hours) and info on who’s rewatched your Story
- The capacity to pin a user in the app as ‘your #1 best friend’
None of those are exactly mind-blowing additions – but again, this is early days, and it could change a lot between now and an official release, if it actually gets to that stage.
We asked Snapchat about Snapchat+ and it provided this statement:
“We’re doing early internal testing of Snapchat+, a new subscription service for Snapchatters. We’re excited about the potential to share exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features with our subscribers, and learn more about how we can best serve our community.”
Essentially, it’s like Twitter Blue, but for Snapchat instead – but if current Twitter Blue take-up is anything to go by, it’s not likely to be a massive hit, at least among the majority of users.
In its most recent performance update, Twitter reported that its revenue from subscriptions and other non-advertising sources totaled $94 million in Q4 21, which is actually a decrease of 31% year-over-year. That suggests Twitter Blue isn’t gaining any traction as yet, while Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has also said that Twitter has not hit ‘intermediate milestones that enable confidence’ with its new revenue and growth projects.
Would Snapchat+ fare any better?
I guess, part of the reason that Snap might feel more confident is that Snapchat is a more personally-aligned app, with users having a strong affiliation with the platform for their private messaging and interaction purposes. Take, for example, the popularity of Snap streaks, which see users working to keep their daily interactions alive, sometimes at all costs, which shows that Snap users have an arguably more compelling connection with Snapchat as their app of choice.
Maybe that will see more users willing to sign up, while the extra data could also be a lure for those looking to maintain more insight on their connections.
That could actually be a strong selling point, more so than what Twitter Blue has on offer – though again, it’s early days, likely too early to say what the actual offering will be in the end.
But Snap has to try new things.
As noted, last month, Snapchat issued a guidance note to the SEC which advised that its overall revenue would miss the targets that it communicated in its Q1 earnings update, which it reported just a month earlier.
As per Snap:
“Since we issued guidance on April 21, 2022, the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated. As a result, we believe it is likely that we will report revenue and adjusted EBITDA below the low end of our Q2 2022 guidance range.”
Could a subscription offering help to prop up Snap’s revenue, and keep it on track with its other projects – like AR Spectacles?
There does seem to be some value for Snap users there, maybe more than Twitter has seen. We’ll keep you updated on any progress.
YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting
YouTube is testing out a new post type within its Community Posts element, while it’s also expanding access to ‘Membership Gifting’, which provides another way for creators to boost their audience in the app.
First off, on disappearing posts – YouTube’s running a new experiment that will enable selected creators to set a time limit on their Community Posts in the app, which will see those updates disappear after 24 or 72 hours.
As you can see in this example, the new option will enable you to set an expiration date for a Community Post, which will then see it automatically erased from view after that time.
YouTube says that creators have been seeking more ways to enhance engagement within the Community Posts element:
“We’ve heard from creators that they would like the ability to share content that is only available for a short period of time – for example, a special time-limited discount on merch or a special message for fans that manage to catch it before it expires.”
YouTube’s Community Posts, which it opened up to all channels with over 500 subscribers in September last year (down from 1,000 subs previously), enable creators to share text-based posts – which can include polls, GIFs, images, and video – within their Community tab.
That provides another way to extend your community-building efforts beyond video content and subsequent comments, which is more aligned with the engagement that you’ll find on in other social apps.
And soon, you’ll also be able to share disappearing posts too – though the initial test is only running with selected creators on Android devices to begin with.
“Viewers will be able to see that a post will expire in x hours at the top of the post in the community tab, and creators will see their expired posts in the ‘Community’ tab under the ‘Archived’ chip once it has expired. Creators can’t re-share expired posts, but we are planning on adding that functionality in the future.”
On another front, YouTube’s also expanding access to its ‘Membership Gifting’ option, which enables Channel members to purchase gift memberships, which are then distributed to other viewers who are not subscribed to the channel.
Which may seem a little odd, but the idea is that this is a support measure for creators, not a gift for friends, as such, providing a means to both give the creator revenue (as they get the usual cut from gifted memberships), while also helping them to boost their audience in the app.
“Up until now, gifting memberships was in a limited beta stage only, and only accessible by a small number of creators. But with this launch, we’re expanding the number of creators that have access to gifting memberships. And as a creator, you can buy gift memberships for your community without becoming a member yourself.”
To be eligible for the program, Channels need to have memberships enabled at a level of $4.99. Viewers also need to opt in to receive gifts during a stream, which they can do by tapping on the ‘Allow Gifts’ prompt in the chat on an eligible broadcast.
It could be a handy option for building community in the app, and with many YouTubers inspiring legions of passionate fans, you can imagine that some will be more than happy to participate in helping to grow their favorite creators’ following.
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