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It takes some serious guts to turn down a US$3-billion offer from Facebook. It also takes a lot of faith in your business plan, something which Snapchat appeared not to have when the offer was originally made. Two recent trademarks filed by the chat app however suggest what direction it might be taking when it comes to gathering revenue.
The trademarks, filed earlier this week, relate to allowing Snapchat to facilitate peer-to-peer and online payments, as well as money transfers.
More specifically, the trademarks are for:
- “Computer application software for processing electronic payments to and from others that may be downloaded from a global computer network” – Trademark Serial # 86335306
- “Electronic transfer of money for others; providing electronic processing of electronic funds transfer, ACH, credit card, debit card, electronic check and electronic, mobile and online payments” – Trademark Serial # 86335307
As TechCrunch notes, baking payments functions onto Snapchat could save it from a lot of the issues faced by pretty much anyone in the social game faces.
Taking a small fee for allowing its users to send money to each other, or letting retailers to hold flash sales on the app could, for instance, mean that it won’t have to go to the same desperate lengths to attract advertisers as Facebook and Twitter have.
It also means that it doesn’t have to worry about sustaining massive user growth and can instead innovate within the payments space to increase its revenue.
If it manages to integrate payment features from the get-go, it also means that it doesn’t have to scramble to build in ecommerce features at a later stage, the way Twitter has.