Snapchat has launched in-app purchases and new ‘lenses’ tool that adds smart animations to selfies, with Mountain Dew the first brand to sign up.
The new Lenses feature is a selfie filter which recognises photos of the user’s face and applies animation to it.
With a tap and swipe, users can then add lenses that produce animated effects on their facial images, such as monsters, rainbows and hearts.
Seven lenses are included in this first batch, and Snapchat will be experimenting with in-app purchases to offer more variety in the future.
Mountain Dew has 172,000 followers on its Snapchat channel. It had success with a Snapchat story campaign timed for the 24 hours preceding this year’s Super Bowl.
Fans were encouraged to view original Snapchat videos from the brand, then choose and take “Kickstory” screenshots and post them with #Kickstart in order to determine the direction of a story that ended with a Super Bowl pre-game party.
The story featured social media stars Jerry Purpdrank, David Lopez and D-Trix.
Alongside the Lenses launch, a new SnapChat in-app purchases feature lets users pay to replay already-seen pictures and videos.
The new feature, which is only available in the US for the time being, offers “replays” in packs of three for $0.99. Without them, users can only view any given picture or video once, and get one additional replay for free each day.
The offer is the latest move away from the idea of “ephemeral messaging” which once lay at Snapchat’s core. Initially, the draw was that users could send a message just once, safe in the knowledge that once it was viewed, it could never be viewed again.
Snapchat said: “We’ve provided one replay per Snapchatter per day, sometimes frustrating the millions of Snapchatters who receive many daily Snaps deserving of a replay. But then we realized — a replay is like a compliment! So why stop at just one?”
Recently, the company has shown more of a focus on its media offering, Snapchat Discover, which lets publishers such as Buzzfeed and Vice upload news stories and shareable content directly to the app. The feature, which is ad-supported, has reportedly been a nice earner for Snapchat, with adverts selling for around 10 cents a view.
Snapchat gets up to half the sale price of each ad, and in March 2015 Recode reported that a given ad was seen by up to a million people each day, adding up to a potential income for Snapchat of $50,000 per advert.