Snapchat wants to begin showing brief television and film clips, news articles, and adverts, it's claimed.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat, a three-year-old ephemeral messaging app most popular for its self-destructing messages feature, has held recent discussions with a dozen advertisers and media companies about a new service called Snapchat Discovery.
The service, which should launch in November, would allow Snapchat to deliver certain content and adverts to Snapchat users. The idea is that one day you would use Snapchat to not only send vanishing messages to friends but also read articles or watch videos, simply by holding down your finger on the screen.
Researcher comScore claimed Snapchat had about 27 million mobile active users in June. The Wall Street Journal said users send more than 500 million snaps a day and that 50 per cent of users are teens who check in 14 times a day. These usage numbers will likely encourage advertisers and media companies to join Snapchat Discovery.
Although companies like Taco Bell and GrubHub already use Snapchat to hold promotions and contests, Snapchat Discovery would be Snapchat's first attempt at generating revenue. Keep in mind Snapchat's current business model is vague. The startup uses funds raised from investors in order to operate, and it has yet to demonstrate potential value to investors. That said, Snapchat notably rebuffed a $3 billion buyout bid from Facebook earlier this year.
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Rival apps like WhatsApp, which Facebook bought after Snapchat's rejection, charge a subscription fee for use, while Snapchat appears to still be laying the groundwork for the potential to earn money. It is likely now placing all bets on Snapchat Discovery, but it first needs to get partners on board.