The question "how do you monetize Snapchat" has finally been answered and it's going to open up a lot of possibilities for users. Snapchat has introduced Snapcash, a way to send mobile payments to friends using the image sending-then-destroying service. In its advertisement for Snapcash, the company makes it seem like a good way for friends to send money to friends, and at face value let's accept that is indeed the case. Sure, you could use any number of other payment systems to send your friends quick cash, but one more on the market can't hurt.
Users send money to other users by sending them a message with $, followed by a dollar amount. The money is sent using Square Cash's email payment system, and Snapchat says Square is helping to secure transactions.
One has to wonder exactly how excited Snapchat users will be about this new addition. Is there enough of an interested user base to make this worthwhile? The answer is probably yes, but it's one the company doesn't publicly talk about.
Which part of Snapchat is going to flourish thanks to this new addition to the service? Why, adult content, of course. Snapchat is incredibly popular with adult entertainers, from adult film stars who sell access to their Snapchat accounts to dancers who use the service to keep fans "interested" when they're not at the club. There are minor Instagram celebrities who have built followings through word of mouth about their more graphic Snapchat accounts. Snapchat has just monetized all of those users in a way that allows them to get paid without their fans ever needing to leave the app.
With such a viable and active audience already utilizing Snapchat to profit, it will be interesting to see how the company will deal with this inevitable, virtual red light district, silver lining. Snapchat is possible because there are certain pictures people want to see but make sure they're never caught seeing, both tawdry and not. Snapcash opens the door for the company to finally profit off of those interested parties.
Snapcash is available now in Snapchat with the app's latest update. You can watch the company's announcement video below.