In its latest update (15 September 2015), Snapchat introduced a new feature called “Lenses”. This new feature allows users (on selfie mode) to scan their faces and select between seven animated filters, each with a unique theme.
Other than this feature, the team also rolled out Trophies for virtual rewards, and its maiden attempt at in-app purchases, Replays.
Lenses is targeted at selfie lovers who want to bring their snaps to life! There is a total of seven filters which will pop up automatically when a user is in selfie mode. These filters can distort your face to make you look old, or they can include wacky animations and sounds. For instance, it can let you puke rainbows and shoot sparkly hearts out of your eyes. This feature greatly changes the way people take selfie.
Trophies is a new gamification feature coming to the app. It will grant users virtual awards and stickers based on how they utilize the app, a great example is Foursquare’s badges.
Paid Replays is also another feature that is widely talked about because other than being a new feature, this is Snapchat’s first-ever attempt at in-app purchases, ramping up its monetization efforts. Basically, Snapchat is an app that allows photo and video messaging. The messages, however, will disappears after some time, and users are allowed to replay one snap of their choice every day. With this new feature, users are allowed to replay more snaps, just by purchasing replays. In-app purchases are also the monetization channel that drives much of the revenue to other major messaging apps like Line and WeChat.
My Take on Snapchat
In view of these new features, we can expect there will be a surge in the user activity, and even a rise in new user acquisition. As good as it sounds, in-app purchases could become a whole new revenue stream for Snapchat, enticing teen users to purchase the add-ons from Snapchat.