Snap has announced the launch of a web app for Snapchat+ subscribers, allowing them to send messages and make video calls from their desktops. The announcement comes almost three weeks after the launch of the Snapchat+ premium subscription service that offers several new features over the free version. It costs $3.99 per month and is only available in a handful of countries at launch, including the U.S., Canada, U.K, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Snap says that the service will be expanded globally in the future, but there’s no definitive timeline for that yet.
According to Snap, Snapchat+ will offer “exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features” to subscribers, and while some of the features will eventually percolate down to free users, others will remain exclusive to the paid tier. Some of the notable Snapchat+ features at launch include the ability to change the app icon, see who rewatched a story, pin a friend to the top of their chat history as a ‘BFF,’ Friend Solar Systems, and more. Another notable new Snapchat+ feature is Ghost Trails, which enables users to check their friends’ location history on a map for the past 24 hours.
At launch, Snapchat for Web will be available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, the company says it plans to eventually roll out the service to all Snapchat+ users globally, which currently includes a handful of other European and Middle-Eastern markets. According to Snap, the new service will enable users to send messages and Snaps, as well as make video and audio calls through the app. In addition, Snapchat for Web includes regulation messaging features, such as Chat Reactions and Chat Reply, while the AR Lenses feature will come to video calls soon.
To access Snapchat for Web, users must go to web.snapchat.com and log in with their Snapchat username and password. Currently, the web app only supports Chrome and Edge, meaning people trying to log in through Safari, Firefox or other browsers will get an error message. Once logged in on a compatible browser, users will be required to complete a two-step verification on their phone before they can start using the service. Once that’s taken care of, users can start a call or resume their conversation from where they left off on mobile.
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The web version of Snapchat will be in direct competition with other messaging apps that also offer a web version, such as WhatsApp. Meta’s popular messaging platform also offers voice calling and video calling features on the web, as well as the ability to send and receive messages. Unlike WhatsApp, Snapchat has always been a mobile-only platform, so the web version launch is a big step for the company. However, it remains to be seen how many Snapchat+ users will log in to the desktop version once the novelty factor wears off in the coming months and years.