Snapchat’s Web-Based Launch
Pivot as Share Price Plummets
Snap Inc.’s (SNAP) Snapchat is an app launched in 2011 that historically has been popular with a younger audience. The app is characterized by its rapidly disappearing pictures and messages. For more than 10 years the platform was available only as a mobile app, and the company only had a bare-bones website. That’s about to change.
It seems Snapchat is growing up as its user base ages. The company announced it will launch a web-based option. The move may be part of a new strategy following a rough year for tech and social media companies, which have seen their valuations tumble. Snap’s share price is down about 70% year-to-date.
Competing With Meta’s WhatsApp
When using the web-based platform, users will be able to send messages and make video calls from their computers. The fleeting nature of Snapchat’s content will endure, with messages either disappearing after 24 hours or instantaneously after being viewed.
The desktop version won’t have the full functionality of the mobile app as it will emphasize the messaging feature. Industry observers say its launch will place Snapchat squarely in competition with Meta’s WhatsApp and Discord’s instant messaging social platform.
The web-based version will be offered only to Snapchat Plus subscribers initially, with those living in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand getting early access. The company expects users to cheer the availability of more space to chat as well as the option to call in the same window. It hopes that flexibility concerning choice of device will help drive brand loyalty.
The company aspires to revitalize its slowing revenue growth and better leverage its 332 million daily active users. Having said that, the initial launch will not have ads, which is Snapchat’s primary source of cash flow.
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