Snapchat has steadily become one of the most popular messaging apps in the United States, used by 100 million people daily and is among the most valued venture-backed companies in the world. Last week, users got a taste of Snapchat’s newest update that brought three new features: lenses, trophies, and paid replay.
Lenses lets users apply live “lenses” to their snaps. When enabled, the app is able to detect and map your face in selfie-mode and applies fun (and uncomfortable) filters and animations over your profile. The lenses distort your face, make hearts shoot from your eyes, steam come from your nose, and rainbows flow from your mouth. Snapchat has been adding new lenses everyday. This feature is similar to the different setting in Photobooths on Macs.
Users can earn Trophies simply by using and exploring Snapchat. Trophies are awarded for breaking milestones (reaching a certain Snapchat score), using the app in a way you haven’t before (applying front facing flash for the first time), or for uncovering new features (applying two filters at the same time). Each accomplishment unlocks a new trophy to display in users’ “trophy case”. Users can access their trophy case by pulling down on the main app window and pressing on the trophy icon at the top of the screen.
Snapchat also added a new replay feature. Each user gets one free replay of each snap received. Users will now have to pay if the want to replay a snap more than once. Replays will now run users $1. This feature seems a little bogus but it’s clearly a simple avenue for Snapchat to further monetize and expand. Snapchat makes most of its money through advertisements placed in sponsored Snapchat Stories and through its Discover partnerships (the Snapcash feature hasn’t been much of a hit) and the paid replay feature will allow them to make money directly through their users.