Snap on Wednesday launched Snapchat+, described as providing “a collection of exclusive, experimental and pre-release features” available in Snapchat for $3.99 per month. The company evidently believes there’s a power-user subset of the 332 million-plus daily Snapchat users who will fork over four bucks each month to get early access to features not available to the hoi polloi.
“This subscription will allow us to deliver new Snapchat features to some of the most passionate members of our community and allow us to provide prioritized support,” the company said in announcing Snapchat+.
Initial features available to Snapchat+ paying customers include the ability to change the app icon, view who re-watched a user’s Snapchat Story and pin one other Snapchat user to the top of your chat window as a “BFF.”
However, the company confirmed, Snapchat+ will continue to serve up ads — something that other subscription plans like YouTube Premium strip out. Snapchat+ appears most similar to Twitter Blue, which for $2.99/month in the U.S. provides a set of enhanced features including the ability to set a 30-second window to edit or cancel tweets before they go live. Twitter Blue also includes ads, although that may change if Elon Musk ultimately consummates his $44 billion deal for Twitter.
In one sense, Snapchat+ looks like a way for Snap to beta-test new features — and generate revenue for it. The company noted that historically it has tested new Snapchat features by rolling them out to small groups of users in different geographies.
Snapchat+ will be available at launch in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the company, it plans to expand to more countries over time.
To sign up for the service (in regions where it’s available), users can tap the “Snapchat+” icon on their Snapchat profile.