Mobile Commerce

Snapchat’s New Way Revenue Play

Snapchat took the world by storm thanks to its unique disappearing message dynamic, but its next big move may be in the opposite direction.

Snapchat rolled out a new feature on Tuesday (Sept. 15) that allows users to replay vanished messages for a $0.99 fee, the company announced in a blog post. When a user forks over his or her hard-earned buck, Snapchat will allow the user to watch three videos or pictures for a second time — a departure from the selling point that turned the messaging app into one of the most popular choices on the market.

"Today, U.S. Snapchatters can purchase extra replays, starting at three for $0.99," Snapchat wrote on its blog. "You can use a replay on any snap you receive, but you can only replay any snap once. They’re a little pricey, but time is money!"

The pay-for-replay feature marks the first time that Snapchat has added any kind of monetized feature to the otherwise free-to-use app. Wired explained that users could replay one message a day prior to the update, and that option remains, but Snapchat seems to be betting on users' desires to save more than one of their daily messages from the digital scrap heap.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Apple usually skims 30 percent off the top of all in-app purchases, but it's unclear whether they'll start claiming a portion of Snapchat's new monetized feature. However, with upwards of 700 million messages sent each day through Snapchat, according to Statista, monetizing a fraction of those replays is likely to draw Apple's attention — if they're not interested already.

All in all, the move to turn one of Snapchat's most sought-after features into revenue could signal an attempt to stymie — or potentially reverse — recent negative financial news surrounding the company. If that's the case, $0.99 per replay might not be enough.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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