Snapchat is shuttering Snapcash, the feature that makes it possible for payments to be sent between users via the app. While it was focused on user-to-user payments, many in the industry speculated that it would be the jump-off point for Snapchat to build out a broader e-commerce platform for brands.
A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature was ending next month: “Yes, we’re discontinuing the Snapcash feature as of August 30, 2018. Snapcash was our first product created in partnership with another company — Square. We’re thankful for all the Snapchatters who used Snapcash for the last four years and for Square’s partnership.”
Launched in 2014, Snapcash allowed users to save their debit card information to the app, making it easy to send money to other users — but also opening up Snapchat to more commerce options as it gave users a way to connect payment information to their account, a feature available on a number of other popular social platforms. Unlike Facebook and Twitter — Snapchat hadn’t connected its Snapcash to its advertising platform yet. (Facebook and Twitter both launched buy buttons for advertisers four years ago, and Instagram started rolling out payment features for business profiles in May.)
Snapcash may have been attracting questionable users, though, as it offered a way to send money to adult performers selling private content. (TechCrunch says it found “plenty of offers” for erotic content in exchange for Snapcash on Twitter.) Even with the possible drawbacks of opening it to problematic financial transactions (such as paying for adult content), ending Snapcash seems counterintuitive to the time and effort Snapchat has given to its e-commerce initiatives this year — from the Shoppable AR Lenses it launched in April to reports it is testing a way for users to purchase products found within the Discover publisher channels straight from the Snap Store (the app’s e-commerce platform that sells only Snapchat merchandise).
Pulling the plug on Snapcash means Snapchat no longer has a way for users to store payment information within the app — something that would have eased the process of connecting buy buttons to ad products.
A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed to Marketing Land that it was ending Snapcash but offered no further details.
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