Snapchat launches web version to bring messaging to computers

Snapchat is finally available on your laptop, but you’ll have to pay for it first.

Santa Monica-based Snap announced on Monday that it is bringing the social media app’s messaging and video features to web browsers, starting with members of the company’s paid subscription plan, Snapchat Plus. The new product comes a few weeks after Snap launched the $3.99 per month subscription tier.


Snapchat for the web, available at web.snapchat.com, allows users to video call or text chat from their computer. The familiar features of the mobile app’s messaging feature are included, and Snapchatters can also send Snaps directly from their computer. Eventually, Snap will integrate its augmented reality lenses, which can make people go bald or make them look like they’re crying, into video calls on laptops, the company said. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA).

Snapchat for web will be available to all Snapchat users “soon” although there is no date for the global rollout yet, a company spokesperson said. For now, only Snapchat Plus subscribers can access the web version using Google Chrome browsers. Snap expects it to be available on other browsers in the future.

Snapchat is a late entrant to the web. Social media rivals like Facebook and Twitter have long had web versions in addition to their mobile apps, and messaging apps like WhatsApp or Slack have allowed people to message from mobile devices and of computers.

“We’re excited to offer a new way for our community to continue conversations on their computers, where they already work, learn and browse,” the company said in a press release.

Snapchat for web marks the first major feature coming to Snapchat Plus, which gives users “exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features.” Previous features include the ability to customize the style of the app icon, pin a “BFF” to the top of their chat history, and see which users have re-watched a story.

The subscription service could bring a new revenue stream to a company struggling with disruptions to its core digital advertising business. In May, Snap warned it would miss its second-quarter profit targets, and the company’s share price is down nearly 70% this year.

We’ll find out exactly how good (or not) the second quarter really went on Thursday, when the company breaks down its financial results.

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