Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel attends a session during the Viva technology show on June 17, 2022 in Paris.
Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images
After more than a decade as a mobile-only service, Snapchat is coming to your desktop.
Snap, the parent of the popular photo and messaging app, said on Monday it is launching Snapchat for the Web, which lets users send messages and video calls to their contacts from their computers.
It’s a notable development for a company that targets younger users with a viral photo-sharing service for its phones, while offering little more than a landing page for its website. By moving to the desktop, Snap can recognize that its users have grown, and many of them are now working on bigger screens at home or the office.
The new desktop version of Snapchat will first be available to Snapchat+ subscribers in the US, UK and Canada, as well as Australian and New Zealand users. Snap launched Snapchat+ in June, allowing users to pay $3.99 per month for more advanced features, such as changing the style of their app icons and seeing who has viewed their content.
The web offering will be a more stripped-down version of the mobile app, focusing primarily on the app’s messaging feature, not unlike its Stories feature.
Like the core Snap app, messages will disappear after 24 hours, and any Snap users view from their desktop computers will be deleted immediately after viewing.
Eventually, Snap says it will bring more of the app’s features to the desktop version, including the ability for users to bring their video calls to life with the use of Lens. Currently, people will have to access Snapchat for the web through the Chrome browser, but the company said it will support other browsers soon and may release a desktop app in the future.
Snap is due to report second-quarter earnings for the company on Thursday, after the first half of the year. Snap shares fell 43% in May, a day after the company said it would miss its guidance, and is down more than 70% this year.
Analysts will be particularly focused on Snap’s results, as the company is the first of the major ad-supported app makers to report earnings for the period. Many advertisers reel in their spending as inflation moves through the economy.
“Since we issued guidance on April 21, 2022, the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated more rapidly than expected,” Snap said in May.
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