Snapchat is betting big on social gaming

Snapchat’s next big bet for getting people to spend more time on the app: social gaming

The social media app is launching a new gaming platform called Snap Games that features original games only available on Snapchat through its group chats.

The app’s parent company, Snap (SNAP), made the announcement at its first ever Partner Summit, an event for developers and content partners, in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The move is about getting users to spend more time on the platform. Snap’s audience growth has stalled — it only recently stopped losing users after two straight quarters of declines — and it has faced heightened competition from Facebook’s Instagram.

Snap Games focuses on multi-player games that happen in real time. There will be six games to start, including one created by Snap itself and others from developers Game Closure, PikPok, Spry Fox, Zeptolab and Zynga. The games will begin rolling out globally on Thursday.

Snapchat previously experimented with social games, called Snappables, which use the camera and typically incorporate users’ faces.

The company aims to make playing mobile games with friends easier and more accessible by offering them directly on the app.

Games are also a potential new revenue stream for Snap. The titles on Snap Games will feature six-second ads, and users may get some type of reward for watching them, such as digital coins or other virtual perks related to the game.

But Snap is latest tech company to jump into the crowded gaming market, and each is taking a slightly different approach, with the similar hope of finding a new way to make money off of existing users.
Last week, Apple (AAPL) unveiled a new game subscription service called Apple Arcade, which requires users to download games. Its angle is offering curated, original titles without in-app purchases, ads or sharing private data. Apple has not said how much the service will cost.

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