By Emily Bary
Like other social-media companies, Snap Inc. has been trying to reduce its reliance on pure advertising revenue, and the company disclosed Monday that it achieved a small milestone along that journey.
Snap /zigman2/quotes/205087158/composite SNAP +0.70% introduced its Snapchat+ paid subscription program in late June, and the company announced in a Monday blog post that it now has more than 1 million members paying for the service. Shares of Snap were up more than 5% in Monday trading.
The Snapchat+ membership count pales in comparison to the 347 million daily active users that the company had as of its latest quarter, but the early traction hints at Snap’s relevance with its most loyal users, as the program offers fairly niche features. The first iteration of Snapchat+ let users track their standings among their friends’ most-Snapped connections. It also allowed users to see which of their stories friends chose to re-watch and see a 24-hour “Ghost Trail” showing the location history of friends who’ve opted to have that information shared.
Snap announced more features Monday, including new backgrounds for Bitmoji avatars and the option to choose a “signoff” emoji that would appear at the end of a user’s Snapchats. Additionally, Snap will make it so the replies of Snapchat+ members are more visible to “Snap Stars,” or creators.
Snapchat+ costs $3.99 a month. Twitter Inc. offers its own subscription feature for $4.99 a month, Twitter Blue, that lets people customize the app’s theme and logo, among other features. Online-dating apps have also found success with a subscription approach, with Match Group Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/207178501/composite MTCH +0.56% Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus subscription offerings helping revenue growth in recent years.
Snap stock has plunged in half over the past three months, as the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.23% has added about 7%, amid concerns about the online-ad industry during the current period of economic uncertainty .