Sure to catch many users by surprise, Snapchat has decided to close its Lens store on Friday.
The social darling isn't explaining the rationale behind the change, which comes just a couple months after it began selling lenses for 99 cents a pop. It did, however, assure users that they will still have access to all the lenses they previously purchased.
Less than a year old, Snapchat’s lenses have proven to be a success with many of its users. Among other popular lenses, a “Puking Rainbows” lens dilates a user’s eyes to the size of large saucers, and then spews glittery rainbow vomit from their mouth.
Snapchat only releases lenses for a short period time before replacing them with a fresh batch. During its brief existence, the Lens store gave people the privilege of using a favorite lens for as long as they liked.
Snapchat has already shown a unique willingness to change course, and eat humble pie when products and services don’t appear to playing well with users and advertisers.
For example, the social sensation recently pressed pause on its original content efforts, shelving Snap Channel. It also disbanded the 15-person team behind the quasi-content studio.
As sources told Deadline, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and his team determined that the costs associated with staging a successful content push simply outweighed the potential benefits.
In a similarly humble adjustment, this past summer, Snapchat scrapped its famous press-and-hold method for viewing content. Rather, the company reshaped what was probably its most distinguishing characteristic and began letting users simply tap to view snaps and stories.
The adjustments appear to be paying off. Indeed, Snapchat is reportedly clocking 6 billion video views a day, which represents a 300% increase since May. Those numbers aren’t far off from the 8 billion daily video views that Facebook presently sees across mobile and desktop.
The numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Snapchat claims around 100 million daily active users, which is less than one-tenth of Facebook’s 1.01 billion daily active users.
As part of its broader business strategy, Snapchat is also reportedly in the process of selling its lenses to select sponsors. As sources recently told the Financial Times, the social network could soon charge up to $750,000 for a brand to reach its entire audience of roughly 100 million users on a “peak day,” like Halloween or the Super Bowl, and closer to $450,000 on average days.