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Social media giant Snap is testing a paid subscription called Snapchat Plus that would give users access to exclusive features.
“We’re doing early internal testing of Snapchat Plus, a new subscription service for Snapchatters,” a Snap spokesperson told dot.LA in a statement. “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.”
Snap’s statement came after app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shared screenshots and information on Twitter about Snap’s experiments with a paid tier. The screenshots show how Snapchat Plus could allow subscribers to pin a friend on the app as a “#1 BFF.” Other features could include the ability to see how many friends have rewatched a Snapchat Story and learn of a friend’s whereabouts in the last 24 hours (if that friend has chosen to share their location), according to Paluzzi.
\u201c#Snapchat is working on a subscription plan called Snapchat+ \ud83d\udc40\n\n\u2139\ufe0f Snapchat+ gives you access to exclusive, experimental and pre-release features such as the ability to pin \ud83d\udccc the conversation with your Best Friend, the access to custom Snapchat icons, a special badge, etc...\u201d— Alessandro Paluzzi (@Alessandro Paluzzi) 1655378778
One screenshot showed a listed subscription price for Snapchat Plus of 4.59 euros per month and 45.99 euros per year, or around $4.81 per month and $48.19 per year—though those price tags could just be placeholders. A Snap spokesperson declined to share how much Snapchat Plus would cost subscribers. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA.)
Snap would follow other social media giants—most notably, Twitter’s Twitter Blue product—in offering a subscription with exclusive features and perks for a monthly or annual price.
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Snap warned on Monday that it will likely report lower-than-expected revenues and profits this quarter—a revelation that sent the social media firm’s stock price plunging by 30%.
“The macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated,” Snap disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “As a result, we believe it is likely that we will report revenue and adjusted EBITDA below the low end of our [second quarter] 2022 guidance range.”
The Santa Monica-based company was already bracing for another challenging quarter due to economic headwinds like inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which it said have harmed the digital advertising market. Snap, which generates virtually all of its revenue from ads, is also still grappling with Apple’s decision to restrict how users are tracked on mobile devices.
As a result of the gloomy outlook, Snap is set to slow down on hiring, according to Business Insider. The company now plans to hire another 500 new employees through the end of this year, compared to the 900 employees who have already accepted offers this year and the 2,000 people it added over the last 12 months, according to a staff memo from Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.
“Our most meaningful gains over the coming months will come as a result of improved productivity from our existing team members,” Spiegel wrote in his note to staff.
Snap’s shares subsequently fell more than 30% in after-hours trading, to $15.71 as of 4:45 p.m. Pacific Time. The company’s stock closed Monday’s trading at $22.47—down 52% since the start of this year and 73% off its 52-week high in September. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA.)
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