It's no secret that Snapchat has struggled a bit when it comes to attracting users and generating revenue. And earlier this month, reports surfaced that Snap had laid off 22 employees and consolidated its content operations. Now, as TechCrunch reports, Snapchat has launched an in-app Snap Store, and it could be a sign of where the company will seek revenue going forward.
Currently, there are five items for sale, a dancing hot dog plush toy, a hat, two sweatshirts and a t-shirt. But according to the store itself, items will come and go, so if you're really into that dog lens t-shirt, you should grab it when you see it.
Snapchat has sold things before -- last October, the company sold a dancing hotdog costume based on its filter and of course there's Spectacles. But this is a bit different, as Snapchat is now selling these things directly through its app rather than through Amazon or other retail partners. Snapchat merch probably isn't going to save the company (how many people are really going to buy a $50 Winkface sweatshirt?), but it also probably isn't meant to. As TechCrunch notes, if the company can show that this sort of storefront can work well and engage its user base, other brands may join in. And if other brands' stores are successful, Snapchat could generate some revenue by charging for the service. However, only time will tell if this will be a successful venture or another flop like Spectacles.
You can get to the Snap Store through the Discover section of the app or head here for the Snapcode. The next round of merch drops on February 8th.