Snapchat is embarking on another major feature. The social media company is launching a desktop application to take advantage of what it sees as an untapped market for its messenger app.
On Monday, Snap announced the launch of Snapchat for Web as a “new way for our community to stay connected through our camera when they’re at their computers.” The app will include most of Snapchat’s mobile app-based features like voice and video calling, text and its signature photo lenses to dress up user pictures.
Nathan Boyd, Snap’s head of messaging product, described the launch of a web app as a natural expansion for the company with more people operating from their computers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. By bringing Snapchat to the desktop, Boyd said the company can more readily take advantage of the 100 million people calling each other on Snapchat every month by making it easier to do so.
“We are always looking for ways to meet our community where they are,” Boyd told The Verge in an interview. “It just felt like something that was an unmet opportunity.”
Launching a web-app is the second major feature launch Snap has undergone this summer. Last month, the company launched Snapchat+ that allows users to pay $3.99 a month for more advanced features, like changing the style of their app icon and seeing who’s viewed their content.
But the web version of Snapchat will have its limitations.
Initially, the app will only be available to Snapchat+ subscribers and only those in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada. On top of this, the desktop version will only be usable with Google’s Chrome browser and not Apple’s Safari. The company did not indicate yet when or if that will change in the future.
Snapchat for Web will also function more readily as a messaging app with less emphasis on its Story features that contributed to its popularity. However, Snap says it will bring more features to the desktop version in the future.