Electronic platform to promote the use of Arabic language throughout the state

DUBAI: An ad-supported Snapchat subscription service was launched last month in select countries, including the UAE and the Kingdom, with a company spokesperson telling Arab News that it will target the platform’s “most passionate and dedicated community members.”

Snapchat+ costs $3.99 per month and includes a “star” symbol for subscribers, custom app icons to personalize the home screen to see how many people are re-viewing their stories, and more for the web. Includes early access to Snapchat.

“For the first time ever, we have a way to deliver early, experimental and pre-release features specifically for them, and that’s very exciting,” the spokesperson said.

The move comes after a disappointing second quarter for Snap. “While the continued growth of our community enhances the long-term opportunity for our business, our financial results for the second quarter did not reflect our ambition,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in a statement.

The company has also slowed hiring for the rest of the year.

But the subscription service isn’t expected to be a significant revenue generator for the company. “We anticipate that most of our revenue will continue to come from advertising,” the spokesperson said.

Snapchat+ will not be ad-free. The spokesperson said: “We believe we can deliver great value to customers through access to features that enhance the parts of Snapchat they love: Maps, Stories and Closer to them. Chat with friends. Many mobile app subscription add-ons don’t remove ads.”

For now, the platform is trying to gauge the appetite for Snapchat+.

“But we see high engagement among our community, we believe membership is an interesting model for testing,” the spokesperson said.

In the Middle East, Snapchat+ was only launched in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with the latter reaching 90 percent of people aged 13-34, according to the spokesperson.

“We wanted to make Snapchat+ available to members of our highly engaged community in this region, and we are excited to expand the offering to additional markets going forward.”