Snapchat adds paid subscription with more features for power users

Starting this week, Snap will begin offering an optional subscription called Snapchat Plus that unlocks exclusive and early access features. Priced at $3.99 a month, the subscription is geared toward “the people who spend most of their time communicating with their closest friends on Snap,” the company’s SVP of Product, Jacob Andreou, tells. Dubbed Snapchat Plus, it’s Snap’s first real attempt at making money outside of advertising, though Andreou says there aren’t expectations for Plus to become a “material new revenue source.” At least initially, Snapchat Plus is mostly a cosmetic upgrade. The most notable features include the ability to change the style of the app’s icon, see who rewatched a story, and pin one of your friends to the top of your chat history as a “BFF.” By introducing a paid tier, it’s natural to wonder if Snap plans to let people pay to turn off ads in the app. Andreou mentions informal conversations he has had with people who work at paid streaming services – many of which have added ad-supported tiers or are in the process of doing so.

Facebook Groups are being revamped to look like Discord

Facebook Groups are about to get some big changes, and if you’ve used Discord, the new approach should seem pretty darn familiar. Meta is testing a new left-aligned sidebar and channels list for Groups, and the changes are giving me some serious Discord vibes. Meta is even evoking Discord with a purple accent colour. Central to the changes is a new sidebar that lists your groups with rounded square icons. Like with Discord and Slack, you’ll be able to pin groups so that they show up first on the list. Individual groups will have a new menu that seems lifted right from Discord. The menu organizes channels, Messenger conversations, and events. Channels in Groups can be text chats, audio rooms, or feed rooms where people can post and comment in a way that’s similar to what you’re used to seeing on your own feed. Text chat looks like a Messenger thread, while audio rooms look a lot like audio rooms in Discord. You can get a look at all three of those channels in this gallery of screenshots from Meta, which happens to feature a hypothetical group dedicated to video games.