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Will all social networks offer paid subscriptions?

Snapchat may soon offer a paid, premium version of its service, off the tail-end of intentions by Twitter and other social media platforms. Picture: File

Snapchat may soon offer a paid, premium version of its service, off the tail-end of intentions by Twitter and other social media platforms. Picture: File

Published Jun 20, 2022

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Snapchat may soon offer a paid, premium version of its service, off the tail-end of intentions by Twitter and other social media platforms.

The photo and video sharing app appears to be the latest to be bitten by the ‘premium service bug’, with app analyst and leaker Alessandro Paluzzi tweeting information about the upcoming features as part of the paid version.

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The service will reportedly be called Snapchat+, and the subscription will offer access to experimental and pre-release features such as the ability to create pins, access to custom Snapchat icons, and a special badge, much like a verification.

Additionally, subscribers will be able to see friends’ whereabouts within 24 hours if they have allowed the feature and the ability to see how many friends have re-watched their stories.

In a separate, speculative tweet, Paluzzi said Snapchat was also working on transcription for voice notes.

The subscription for Snapchat’s premium service is expected to be more pricey, with the cheapest one-month plan costing R77.14 (4.59 Euros).

This contrasts with the ballpark figure previously tweeted by Elon Musk for Twitter’s paid service at R31.95 (US$2.00).

A six-month subscription to Snapchat+ is expected to cost around R419.79 (24.99 euros), while users can expect to fork out R772.56 (45.99 Euros) for its annual plan.

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The introduction of Snapchat+ mirrors Musk’s intention for Twitter, after he touted plans for the social network such as the authentication checkmark alongside changes to the platform’s algorithm.

This, in effect, would mean users can buy the sought-after verification for a monthly fee. Across all social networks, the accompanying blue tick indicating a verified account was initially reserved for celebrities, brands, athletes, and profiles reasonably well-known to the general public.

The verification badge, associated with social media clout or influence, is seen across other platforms from Meta, such as Facebook and Instagram, and other platforms like short-form video app TikTok.

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However, with the introduction of paid subscription versions of the most popular social networks, it seems that buying your verification may become a thing in the future.

The encrypted instant messaging app Telegram recently confirmed that it was working on a premium subscription to its service, expected to be launched soon.

The purchase of premium services that offer verification also throws ambiguity on an industry practice of social networks recognising cross-platform verification, which could become a thing of the past with paid subscriptions which offer verification badges.

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New apps and social networks that may emerge, take into account a user’s verification on other longer-running platforms and recognise this in awarding a user verification on their platform.

IOL TECH

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