Snapchat is launching a new feature called “Sounds” which allows users to add licensed music to their Snaps.
Despite being a pioneer of the stories format, Snapchat is among the last to offer the ability to add music to photos and video clips.
TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook all offer this feature already – now Snapchat is playing catchup.
Music can be added to Snaps pre or post-capture. The “robust” catalog includes emerging and established artists.
“Music makes video creations and communication more expressive, and offers a personal way to recommend music to your closest friends. On average, more than 4 billion Snaps are created every day.”
When users receive a Snap with music added to it they can swipe up to view the album art, song title, and name of the artist.
A “Play This Song” link is included which lets users listen to the full song on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.
In order to allow the inclusion of licensed music, Snapchat now has multi-year agreements with these major and independent labels:
- Warner Music Group
- Universal Music Publishing Group
- Warner Chappell Music
- BMG Music Publishing
In the coming months, Snapchat plans to roll out a feature that allows users to create and add their own sounds to Snaps.
That’s another capability TikTok users are already familiar with.
Sounds is exclusive to the iOS version of Snapchat and is now available globally.
Business is Booming at Snapchat
Snapchat is investing in new features at a time when the app is seeing record gains in new users.
According to the company’s latest earnings report, Snapchat added 11 million daily active users in Q3 2020.
So far in 2020 Snapchat has added a total of 20 million daily active users. That means over 50% of this year’s gains occurred in Q3 alone.
Now Snapchat’s overall number of daily active users sits at 249 million.
That’s tens of millions more than Twitter, which reported 186 million monetizable daily active users in its Q2 earnings report.
To put these gains in perspective, Snapchat struggled to gain any new users between 2018 and 2019.
From Q3 2019 to Q3 2020, Snapchat has gained nearly 40 million daily active users worldwide.
So what’s fuelling this growth?
Snapchat credits several factors in its earnings report:
- A revamped Android app
- Greater interest in original Discover content
- Greater interest in Snapchat Shows
- AR lenses going viral
Snapchat’s neglected Android app received a significant update last year, which boosted its growth in markets where Android is the dominant operating system.
The company’s investment in original content is paying off as well, as the total daily time users spend watching Snapchat Shows has increased by over 50% year-over-year.
AR (augmented reality) lenses continue to be massively popular with people. Not just Snapchat users, but users all over the web.
Its most recent hit, the ‘Anime’ lens, was used over 3 billion times within the first week of being launched.
The lens allows users to take selfies and instantly transform themselves into an anime character.
This particular lens went viral, meaning photos taken with the anime lens were shared on other apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
In fact, Fast Company reported the lens was a bigger hit on TikTok than it was on Snapchat.
Of course, since Snapchat is the only app offering the anime lens, people had to download it in order to use the lens themselves.
So the impact of AR lenses in fuelling new user growth cannot be overlooked.
As the number of new users grows, company revenue is also growing. This means we should see continued investment in original content, new features, and fun lenses to share across the web.