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Snapchat may take on Telegram with a paid tier for early access to new features

Snapchat On Pixel 6 Pro
Snapchat app (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Snapchat appears to be testing a new subscription tier called Snapchat Plus.
  • The paid tier will give subscribers access to exclusive and pre-release features.
  • It will apparently cost €4.59 a month or €45.99 per year.

Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat, appears to be making inroads into the paid subscription business. The company is apparently testing a paid tier of its instant messaging and social networking app, called Snapchat Plus.

According to mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi (opens in new tab), who first spotted the internal testing, Snapchat Plus will give subscribers early access to "exclusive, experimental and pre-release features." Snap confirmed to The Verge (opens in new tab) that it's testing a paid model of its service.

Snapchat Plus is essentially a Telegram Premium rival that will give subscribers the chance to get their hands on upcoming features before they are released. Snap did not go into detail about the capabilities that will require a subscription. That said, Paluzzi has shared some of the headline premium features.

Snapchat Plus exclusive features

(Image credit: Alessandro Paluzzi / Twitter)

Perhaps the most notable one is the ability to pin one of their friends to the top of their profile, labeled as their #1 BFF. As The Verge noted, this is reminiscent of the "Top 8 Friends" list on MySpace.

Snapchat Plus will also give you access to exclusive icons and the ability to see how many friends have rewatched your story in the last 24 hours. You can select from a variety of icons, including those with plain background colors and those with your country's flags, among others.

You can also track your friends' whereabouts within the last 24 hours, assuming they've shared their location with you.

Paying for Snapchat Plus also adds an extra badge to your profile to let other users know you're a paid subscriber, but it doesn't grant you verified status like Twitter's blue checkmark.

According to screenshots shared by Paluzzi, these features will be available only to those willing to pay €4.59 (approximately $4.83) per month or €45.99 ($48.41) per year. However, the price may change when Snap announces the subscription plan.

With the new paid tier, Snap appears to be following in the footsteps of other social platforms that have recently dabbled in subscription models. Twitter, for example, launched Blue last year to provide subscribers with early access to new features before they are available to the general public. Telegram has also recently introduced a new premium membership tier.

The goal is simple: find new ways to make money. Increased restrictions on how social platforms serve ads appear to be driving the growing trend of charging users for premium features. Locking these features behind a subscription is now becoming a viable option.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.