Snapchat Launches on Desktop Computer; US Users to Pay Subscriptions for Now

After more than 10 years as a smartphone chat app, Snapchat is coming to desktop computers. Users will be able to use the desktop web version nearly as much as they can use the mobile app, and can even continue app conversations on the desktop. Interestingly enough, the development will likely pitch Snapchat against Zoom, and both messaging and video apps will enter into a new rivalry.

Snapchat in recent information said it hosts more than 100 million video calls every month, with up to 15 participants in each call. Although the social media platform is popular for disappearing chats and photos that give users funny facial features, it has also become a preferred choice for users willing to switch to video calls. With the launch of desktops, Snapchat will be in direct competition with Zoom, which sees the most usage on desktop computers.

“With so many in our community spending more time online, whether it is for remote learning or working, streaming or just plain browsing — we saw a huge opportunity to make it easier for our community to stay connected throughout their day,” the company said.

Although the photo lenses feature that gives people dog ears and fake eyeglasses is popularly used on smartphones, it will soon become a regular feature of the desktop version. When Snapchat is opened on desktop or laptop computers, it will open to the camera directly so that users can use video or photos immediately. Users will see friends online and their recent conversations on a sidebar so that new chats can be initiated immediately.

But some features will not be immediately available on the web version of Snapchat. The Discover and Snap Map features will not be available on the desktop yet, and users will not be allowed to take screenshots of conversations with friends. A Privacy Screen will also conceal the Snapchat window if users click away so that their safety and privacy can be assured, the company said.

In June, Snapchat came up with a $3.99 monthly subscription service called Snapchat Plus. When the desktop version is launched, it will initially be available to users in Australia and New Zealand; but those in the US, the UK, and Canada will only be able to access Snapchat Plus just yet. The company will later launch a Snapchat Plus subscription to computer users in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, and Germany.