Snapchat's Paid Subscription Success: Setting a Benchmark for Social Platforms

  • 22-09-2023 |
  • Courtney Millhouse

As the realm of social media platforms evolves, many are exploring the concept of paid subscriptions and the value they hold for both the platform and the subscribers. Crucial to this exploration, however, is understanding what makes a successful paid offering in an area that many platforms are struggling to crack. Snapchat, among all social platforms, appears to have found the optimal part of the formula, with their Snapchat+ service acquiring a staggering 5 million subscribers.

Snapchat+ has seen a steady rise in paying members, adding a million payers in a mere three months from June to the present. In comparison to Twitter Blue, now X Premium, Snapchat's subscriber base is significantly more extensive, with Twitter Blue holding just a million members despite extensive promotional attempts. The exact numbers for Meta's equivalent verified plan remain undisclosed. Still, it is unlikely to compete with Snapchat+, now drawing in an approximate $20 million monthly for Snapchat.

However, a detailed dig into the numbers reveals that the 5 million Snapchat+ members translate to roughly 0.67% of Snapchat's total 750 million monthly users. A seemingly small percentage, this ratio does far better than other comparable subscription models across different platforms. What separates Snapchat is its approach of extending extra utility and advantages rather than just requesting the users to pay.

Snapchat thrives on providing user benefits, with Snapchat+ subscribers enjoying the advantage of accessing over 20 new features even before they are rolled out broadly. They range from slightly more straightforward rewards like extra fonts and app icons to more unique advantages such as priority replies, extended story expiration options, extra streak restores, and chat wallpapers. Such offerings undeniably feed into the intimate connectivity that Snapchat promotes among its users, making them more inclined to invest in the paid subscription.

Despite the minimal percentage of paying members, platforms like X Premium need to consider Snapchat+ as an inspiring model. The focus needs to shift to subscriber benefits rather than acclaiming the virtues of free speech or similar notions. Instead of estimating paid subscriptions on the horizon, platforms should question what benefits they bring to their users and how they are innovating these benefits. As more platforms entertain the paid subscription model, Snapchat+ is undeniably a well-performing and influential pioneer in the paid social media landscape.