Snapchat Launches First In-App Purchases With 'Replay,' Adds Selfie Filters

Snapchat has a brand new revenue stream.
Users of the Venice, Calif.-based messaging service can now purchase “Replays” of disappearing photo and video “snaps” they receive on the app, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. Replays, priced at three for 99 cents, represent the first time users can spend money in the app. Snapchat still gives users one free replay per day, a feature it introduced about two years ago. However, a snap can only be replayed once. “They’re a little pricey — but time is money!,” the company said in its post.

In-app purchases have created significant revenue for popular overseas messaging apps like WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk, and it isn’t surprising that Snapchat is following in their footsteps. Snapchat also makes money by hosting content from media partners in the Discover section of its app, as well as by selling advertisements in Stories, public chains of snaps, typically related to a location or event, that Snapchat employees curate from users’ snaps around the world.
Separately, Snapchat also included a new selfie animation tool in Tuesday’s app update. The feature, called ‘Lenses,’ allows users to add filters, graphics and sounds to snaps taken as selfies. Some of the lens settings, for example, let users distort their faces. The lenses can be accessed by pressing and holding while using the app’s camera.

Snapchat also announced on Tuesday that it has created virtual rewards and stickers called “Trophies,” although the company didn’t describe the feature in detail. In some cases, users receive rewards based on how many snaps they send. Rewards can be viewed by touching a trophy icon at the top of a user’s profile page, above the user’s QR code, a visual i.d. tool.