Snapchat is now available for the first time on desktop browsers as a bonus feature for Snapchat+ subscribers.
Launched in June, Snaphchat+ is a paid offering that allows people to get more from the app, such as early access to experimental features.
Snapchat for the web is among the first of those experiments and arguably the most intriguing offering so far.
What Is Snapchat For Web?
Web-based Snapchat offers many key features of the mobile app with a user interface for desktops.
Users can use a webcam and mic to participate in video chats on their computer instead of holding up a phone.
Messaging is also available, giving people another way to stay in touch with Snapchat connections.
Lenses aren’t available yet, but Snapchat says it will add them soon.
What’s missing from Snapchat for the web is the ability to create and upload content to your main story. It’s limited to messaging only.
How Can I Use Snapchat For Web?
To use Snapchat for the web, you must first subscribe to Snapchat+, available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The monthly fee varies by country, though a seven-day free trial is offered to first-time subscribers.
Once subscribed, you can access Snapchat for web on your desktop Chrome browser by visiting web.snapchat.com and logging in with your account.
Why Bring Snapchat To Desktop?
Snapchat is the longest holdout among social media apps to not have a desktop counterpart.
The desktop experience is non-existent for regular users, which is unusual when mobile-centric apps like Instagram and TikTok have desktop versions.
While some users may be expressing demand to use Snapchat on desktop, the reason it’s rolling out now most likely comes down to revenue.
Snapchat is under intense pressure to bring revenue up. After informing shareholders Snap isn’t meeting its revenue targets, the company’s stock price saw a 43% drop in May.
Since then, we’ve seen the launch of Snapchat+, and we’ll almost certainly see the launch of more features to sell subscriptions.
The benefit of having a testing ground for new features isn’t just earning additional revenue. It’s an excellent way to gather data on which features are worth investing in.
If Snapchat for web turns out to be a hit with subscribers, it could eventually roll out to all users. On the other hand, it may fall flat, and the company will know to divert resources elsewhere.
We’ll have a better idea after Snapchat’s subsequent earnings call if users are excited enough about these features to purchase a subscription.