Snapchat is a mobile app launched on July 18, 2011. It lets users share photos and videos easily with friends and the general public. What makes Snapchat different from other social apps is that your photos and videos can be made to disappear after they have been viewed.
The app has a lot of cool features such as letting users draw with secret color palettes, attaching stickers and emojis to moving objects, making 3D paintings, and adding filters, and text effects, among others. Recently, however, it has launched Snapchat Plus, which is the app’s paid subscription plan and is available on iPhone and Android. It starts at $3.99 per month but lets you go on a 7-day trial to get a feel of whether or not this upgrade is for you.
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Over a year after it launched, Snapchat Plus successfully hit 5 million subscribers, compelling the platform to keep its premium version and add more Snapchat Plus features. The platform grew significantly in such a short year, further proving its potential in the digital and social media landscape. If the numbers grow steadily, Snapchat Plus will certainly roll out innovative features we can barely find in other social media apps.
A lot of people are curious why ‘Snapchat Plus free’ does not exist. It’s because when it was launched in June 2022, Snapchat introduced it as a premium membership tier granting access to its exclusive features. So we’ll go through what is Snapchat Plus and some of Snapchat Plus benefits and features so you can decide later on if it’s worth the upgrade or not. Let’s get to it.
Ghost Trails Function
The first Snapchat Plus feature is the Ghost Trails function, which can be seen on the Snapchat map. Here, you will be able to see your friend’s location history in the last 24 hours if he or she has shared the position with you. Take note, you cannot see Ghost Trails of friends who are not sharing their Map location with you or if they are in a country where Snapchat+ is unavailable.
To make sure that the Ghost Trails feature will protect users’ privacy, Snapchat+ has created some restrictions. Again, you won’t be able to see your friend’s ghost trails unless they choose to share their location with you. This is made possible by switching off Ghost Mode. Second, your friend needs to be in a country where Snapchat is available. Finally, they must have the app’s 11.89 version or higher installed.
The Ghost Mode
To access Ghost Mode, toggle by tapping on the Snap Map, then go to Settings. If you want to switch it on your location no one else can see it for it will only be visible to you. You can decide how long you want it enabled—either for three hours, 24 hours, or until you turn it off.
When Ghost Mode is turned off you can now reveal your location with your friends or just select some of them. You may exclude some friends by selecting My Friends Except. Whoever you select with this option won’t be able to view your location. The other option is Only These Friends, which means you can choose specifically which friends you wish to share your location with.
To see your friend’s location, head over to Snap Map so you can see several Bitmojis of your friends who shared their location with you. Tapping on a Bitmoji will display a panel showing your friend’s exact location. The time will also be visible on the panel. There will also be a share live button. This lets you temporarily share your present location with your friend.
There are three options to choose from: 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours. So it’s up to you to decide the time limit you want it shared. Choosing to share your live location will send your friend a message alert that lets them know your precise whereabouts. Now, you can follow the movement either on the map or in the chat.
A live tag below the Bitmoji will appear to let you know their live location, status, and their real-time movements. Even if you have chosen a time limit, you can stop sharing your live location anytime you want to. You can do this by tapping on the Stop Sharing live button. It will immediately stop sharing your live location on your friend’s end.
The ghost trail of your friend will be visible for 24 hours. After which, the trail will now delete itself. You can also delete your Ghost Trails manually by turning your Ghost Mode off and on.
Best Friends Forever Pin
The next feature is the Best Friends Forever Pin. This lets users pin a friend as their number one best friend in the chat box. You can do this by holding on to the chat panel of your friend’s name and then tapping on Pin as your number one best friend. After which, you will see that there is an emoji that will be attached beside your friend’s profile icon. This indicates that you have pinned him or her as your number-one best friend. Remember that this Pin can only be visible on your end and pinning only allows for one friend at a time.
Story Rewatch Indicator
The third feature is the Story Rewatch Indicator. This lets you view how many of your friends have rewatched your posted snaps on your Snapchat stories. To make sure that the Story Rewatch Indicator is going to work, you need to check if you have enabled it on your app.
To do this, go to your Profiles dashboard, tap on settings, then select Snapchat Plus. Next, make sure that your toggle for Story Rewatch count is enabled. Just remember that this does not indicate how many times the story has been rewatched. Rather, only the number of friends who have rewatched your story.
So go back to the Profiles dashboard, scroll down to My Story Section, then choose any of your posted snaps found in the lower right corner of your story. There, you will see two eyes icon that represents the Rewatch Indicator. Right next to is the number of rewatches. Know that you will not know which person specifically has rewatched your story.
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Custom App Icons/Themes
The next feature on Snapchat Plus is the Custom App Icons/Themes. Subscribers of Snapchat+ are given various customized app icons to choose from. If you want to view your options, just head on to your Profiles dashboard, tap your Snapchat+ membership card, then select the App Icon menu. After you have select one, it will then be applied as your Snapchat App Icon on your Home Screen.
The Snapchat Plus Badge feature is represented by a black star icon next to your profile name. This gives you the distinction of being one of the app’s premium subscribers. By default, this feature is disabled, so if you want your friends to know that you’re a Snapchat+ subscriber, just go to the membership card settings, then enable Snapchat+ Badge. Now your friends can see your badge so long as they’re on the app’s latest version.
Friend Solar System
This next feature is quite the fun because the Friend Solar System or the Snapchat Plus planets lets you rank your friends as planets. Two badges can appear on one’s friendship profile. Your badge may be best friends or friends. When you have a best friend badge, it means you and your friend belong to each other’s closest friends. They are those you often chat with or snap with. This is distinguishable by the golden ring that appears around your friend’s name.
A friend’s badge, on the other hand, will have a silver ring. This means you are one of your closest friends, but not one of yours. To view this, tap on your badge to view your planet representation indicating the order you are as their friend. Every position is represented by the eight planets. You, as the account owner, is represented by the sun. Remember that you and your friends can only see Friend Solar System if both of you have a linked Bitmoji.
Snapchat for Web
This Snapchat Plus website feature gives users the option to chat, call friends, and more from their desktop computers. The feature is now available worldwide. Using Snapchat for Web allows you to send snaps, and messages, as well as voice and video calls.
You will also have access to the mobile app’s messaging features, such as chat reactions. Furthermore, it features over 10 Lenses for video calls. To access this feature, head on to web.snapchat.com then log in using your app username and password.
Next, you will be asked to complete a two-step verification on your phone. Then you can pick up your conversations from where you left off on your mobile. Every time you open Snapchat for Web, your Bitmoji is going to appear in chats holding a laptop. This is to let others know that you’re communicating via your desktop.
The best thing about it is its privacy screen, which hides your Snapchat window once you click away to do another task. And just like the app’s mobile experience, messages sent via Snapchat for Web are immediately deleted after 24 hours. It will also prevent users from taking screenshots.
Snapchat Plus: How to Get
Before you begin using Snapchat+ you need to make sure you have the latest version installed, which is 11.89 or newer. For you to check if you have the latest version, open your app and tap on your Profile icon. Then head on to settings where you will scroll down to the bottom. There you will see your Snapchat version details.
Next, go back and choose the Snapchat+ card from the options. The subscription price ranges from $4 per month, $22 for 6 months, and $40 for the entire year. Again, don’t forget to take advantage of its 7-day free trial to help you decide if it’s worth the upgrade or not. Just don’t forget to cancel your subscription if you decide not to go for it.
Also note that right now Snapchat+ is only available in certain countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and New Zealand. Signing up for a premium plan requires you to verify your billing information so you need to fill everything out. After you have finished subscribing, exit the app and then open it again so Snapchat+ can be fully activated. Now you’re all set.
Snapchat Plus: A Word of Caution
Even before the Snapchat Plus release date this year, Snapchat in general has been very popular, especially among teens. The app has been around for over a decade and even if it seems like it’s all fun and games from the outside, parents should be vigilant in letting their kids use the app, particularly those under 13 years of age.
It does have its own risks, so parents need to be aware of how it actually works. However, there are some safeguards in place. After downloading, the app will ask for the date of birth, and if a user is under 13, they will be redirected to the kid version known as the “SnapKidz.” It is more restrictive than regular Snapchat since you’re not allowed to share anything or add friends.
Yes, some teenagers may be old and responsible enough to use Snapchat safely at the age of 13, but there are those who need more time to mature. As a parent, you can decide to let your child try it out, but when you feel the platform is not being used appropriately, pause it for a bit until you’re absolutely sure your kid is ready to try using it again.
Snapchat and Snapchat Plus are obviously fun and engaging, otherwise, the number of massive users and subscribers will be non-existent. However, there is also a need for parents to be vigilant about their child’s mobile phone and have a sincere talk with them about certain expectations. In this his way, problems like cyberbullying, cyberstalking, sexting, and other potential downsides of social media will be prevented. And if you’re interested to learn more about how social media and digital marketing shape our world today, read about it in our post, What is Digital Marketing? Definition, Strategy, and Tools.