Apparently Snapchat is just a little too much of a good thing–and the company is now using that fact to develop a new revenue stream.
On Tuesday, Snapchat announced the paid version of a feature called Replay, which allows people to rewatch three Snaps–which would otherwise disappear for good–for 99 cents. Replay originally launched in 2013 and allowed people to revive one Snap per day for free. It was apparently so popular that Snapchat thinks people will fork over money for another look at their Snaps.
It’s an interesting move for an app whose initial attraction is that it disappears your messages after a few seconds by default. The intimacy and urgency of Snapchat’s ephemeral nature is what made it so popular. But it makes sense that this wouldn’t always be so desirable, and that people would want a degree of control and customization–which is what Replay will provide for a fee.
So far, Snapchat’s revenue has largely stemmed from advertising and moneymaking products like Discover and Live Stories, which monetize content from partners that sticks around for 24 hours. Clearly, flexibility with visibility windows is the key to making money for Snapchat.
We don’t know yet how many people will actually pay to replay Snaps, but in-app purchases within free apps are common enough now, and Snapchat clearly received some indication that people want the option. As the company wrote in its blog post, “They’re a little pricey — but time is money! ;).”