A new update for Snapchat is being pushed to its users today, introducing new options for taking and editing photos on the fly. Notable changes have been made to the service, thanks to two new major features being introduced in this update.
Firstly, we see the debut of the ‘Lenses’ feature which, using face tracking, overlays special effects on the in-app camera for use with images produced using the application. A collection of preset effects are available, and after a small period of testing, the choices may be limited, however definitely show promise on the platform. The effects currently available for the feature demo the technology successfully, but sadly, due to the significant lack of choice, many Snapchat stories are currently cluttered in the same seven lenses.
Users in the United States have also been given access to extra replays via in-app purchases, to exceed the daily limit currently set. Until now, it has been possible to ‘replay’ media on Snapchat after its initial viewing through a in-built feature, available to all users. Until this day, this feature to access previously viewed content has been restricted to one use per 24 hours. Now, as of the most recent update, it is possible to gain additional replays through purchases using real tender. From today, you may purchase ‘replays’ through an in-app transaction. Prices begin at $0.99 for three replays. Late last year, we saw the release of Snapcash, which introduced another way to bring money into the Snapchat ecosystem via a peer-to-peer payment system.
Today, U.S. Snapchatters can purchase extra Replays, starting at 3 for $0.99. 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! ;)
This new way to monetize from consumers does give more flexibility in regards to media consumption, however goes against the original philosophy of the service. While an increase in choices is usually welcome in applications, this newest addition partially breaks a core value promoted by Snapchat themselves. Snapchat has always been known as a platform where images disappear, and after viewing, will never be uncovered again. While many images are stored for a long period of time in the background, giving potential unlimited access does remove a key unique selling point of the service.
A Snapchat image or video can reach up to 10 seconds long, therefore for a $0.99 fee, replays can be accessed for the best value of 33.3 cents per image. While the initial price for replays may be small, after viewing a certain amount of content a second time round, the overall cost can build rapidly.