Snapchat is finally available on your laptop, but you’ll initially have to pay for it.
Santa Monica-based Snap announced Monday that it’s bringing the social media app’s messaging and video features to web browsers, starting with members of the company’s paid subscription plan, Snapchat Plus. The new product comes a couple weeks after Snap launched the $3.99 per month subscription tier.
Snapchat for Web—which can be found at web.snapchat.com—lets users video call or text chat from their computers. Familiar features from the mobile app’s messaging function are included, and Snapchatters can send Snaps directly from their computer, too. Eventually, Snap will incorporate its augmented reality Lenses, which can turn people bald or make them look like they’re crying, into video calls on laptops, the company said. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA).
Snapchat for Web will “soon” be available for all Snapchat users, though there’s no date yet for the global roll out, a company spokesperson said. For now, only Snapchat Plus subscribers can access the web version using Google Chrome browsers. Snap expects it to become available on additional browsers in the future.
Snapchat is a late entrant to the web. Social media rivals like Facebook and Twitter have long had web versions in addition to their mobile apps, and messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Slack have let people send messages from both mobile devices and computers.
“We’re excited to offer a new way for our community to keep conversations going on their computers, where they’re already working, learning, and browsing,” the company said in a press release.
Snapchat for Web marks the first major feature to come to Snapchat Plus, which provides users with “exclusive, experimental and pre-release features.” Previous features include the ability to customize the style of app’s icon, pin a “BFF” to the top of their chat history and see which users have rewatched a story.
The subscription service could bring a new revenue stream for a company that’s grappled with disruptions to its core digital ad business. In May, Snap warned that it would miss its earnings targets for the second quarter, and the company’s share price is down nearly 70% this year.
We’ll find out exactly how bad (or not) the second quarter actually went on Thursday, when the company details its financial results.