Snapchat deviating from its core ideology, a good idea?

Snapchat rolling its new features

After getting the millennial generation addicted, Snapchat rolled out three new features: Lenses– The selfie enhancer, Trophies – a feature that gives away virtual awards and replay snap, an in-app paid feature.

Lenses can help revive the selfie craze and introduce some funness in the snap stories and even in peer to peer conversations. The trophies and lenses feature go hand in hand, as the new selfie enhancer is bound to see an increase in snap stories which inevitably will help unlock virtual rewards for the Snapters.

The (most important) replay snap feature is an irony when it comes to Snapchat, as the very USP of this photo app is its dissolvable content. Now, one can have that content replayed for a small amount of money. Looks like Snapchat is tweaking itself to create an additional source of revenue.

Most messaging apps (LINE, Wechat, Kik) are struggling to generate revenue only through free messaging. Although chat traffic has only multiplied, revenue generated from the same is not growing at the same pace.

According to Juniper, revenue from texting on chat apps like WhatsApp and LINE will make up just 1% of all the revenue generated by SMS and chat traffic in 2019. Most of these apps have now additional services that help with revenue generation, for example LINE has original merchandise and games as its sources of revenue. In fact, a major chunk of its revenue is drawn from these commercial sources, although data figures show profits falling drastically since 2014.

It could be possible that even though Snapchat constitutes of 100 million users, its struggle to generate revenue from additional sources is going to start showing. In addition to Snapchat advertising, (DISCOVER),  its in app replay feature could shape out to be its next revenue stream.

A Business Insider report suggests that Snapchat is slated to rake in $50 million revenue in 2015 and is expected to cross $200 million in revenue next year too. Replay could be a small move in that direction.

However, whether it will grow to be a definite stream is too soon to tell. In fact,  this new feature might only create temporary excitement as the monetising aspect will eventually bite into the goodness of a replay. The pressing question here is that is replay strong enough a reason to compel Snapchat’s deviation from its very USP.