Snapchat looks to maintain its own friendships: In the past In recent years, Snapchat has built an increasingly complex fabric of partnerships.
They have their advertising partners who fuel the vast majority of their monetization efforts. They have application developers on Snap Kit they also sell new features like CameraKit and Minis. They are bringing game developers on board for their Snap Games initiative, including another partnership with Zynga, which they announced today. They also continue to continue programming original mobile content for Snapchat Discover. Sometimes these distinctions can create gray areas. For example, in a conversation with ClearTipsNews, Ben Schwerin, vice president of partnerships for Snap, insists on Snapchat does not compete with Quibi, which is an advertising partner.
“Comparing Quibi and Snapchat – and I know it’s easy to do – is like comparing cable TV and Snapchat,” he says.
Snapchat may be better placed than any other app in the U.S. to replicate what Tencent’s WeChat has done in China, turning a friend-to-friend messaging app into a national platform. Snap is still a long way from achieving that, but on Thursday at their annual Snap Partner Summit, they shared some of the elements necessary to make it happen, namely richer third-party experiences via development kit upgrades and a new initiative called Snap Minis.
Snap says they now have 800 developers who have integrated with Snap Kit and that a total of 150 million users access these integrations on a monthly basis.
In the United States, developers have had a largely frayed relationship with social media companies. Companies like Facebook and Twitter have significantly locked out many of the development features with which they were launched, often disabling features that were essential to the developer experience overnight. Snapchat’s dedicated development platform Snap Kit is only two years old at this point, but seeing Facebook’s privacy pitfalls has allowed Snap to create a platform that brings in developers in the fold with certain features but retains the real treasure – Snapchat social graph – buried inside its walled garden.