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(Pocket-lint) - Snap is rolling out the Gifting feature that it announced earlier this year to users across the globe, adding a direct (if a little complicated) way for users to pay the accounts they follow for content they appreciate.

The system is basically an in-app tip-jar, that lets you send "Gifts" that you pay for with real money. The account receiving the gift then gets a cut of that cost from Snapchat, which makes money off the transaction.

It means the expansion of a sort of in-app currency called Crystals that you'll be paid in, from the looks of things, and might easily be framed as part of a strategy to attract the sort of creators who might be making the big bucks on other platforms that encourage payment, like OnlyFans and Patreon.

The system is rolling out to users now, around the world, but another feature will be US-only in the first instance. Spotlight Challenges will offer the chance for Snapchatters to win shares of chunky cash prizes by sending Snaps using specific filters or lenses.

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It basically means that brands and creators can hold contests entirely within Snapchat, which is an intriguing concept that we'll have to keep an eye on. The feature is being tested at the moment, according to Snap, and will deploy in November in the US initially.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 6 October 2021.