(Reuters) – Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) on Thursday launched a gaming platform within its Snapchat app featuring original and third-party games such as Zynga Inc's Tiny Royale, seeking to keep existing users engaged longer and attract new ones.
Snap also announced a slew of fresh features and content for existing products, adding shows from Bunim/Murray Productions and BuzzFeed and augmented reality filters including templates of landmarks. It claimed it can even allow advertisers to purchase ads operating beyond the Snapchat platform.
Snap made the announcement at its first-ever Partner Summit in California. The new features and content are aimed toward keeping its core base of 13-34 year olds on its messaging platform longer all the while overall user growth has stalled.
Snap faces fierce competition for users and advertisers from bigger and a better-financed rivals. As an illustration, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Inc's platform and Instagram photo-sharing app have copied popular Snapchat features like Stories, your own feed of photos and videos that disappear after Round the clock.
In 2018, Instagram had about 400 million daily active users on its version of Stories, a lot more than twice Snapchat's daily users.
Snap must also battle for user attention against newer rivals like TikTok, a short-form video app owned by Chinese tech company Bytedance.
The amount of daily active users on Snapchat has held steady or fallen for the past several quarters, but the app is still wildly popular among young users.
Snapchat reaches 75 % of 13-34 year olds and 90 percent of 13-24 year olds in the country.
"We want to build something causes us to be feel as though we're playing a board game with family on the long holiday weekend," Will Wu, director of product at Snap, told creators and developers who had accepted invitations on the one-day event.
"Whatever causes us to feel like we're sitting with friends, controllers available, checking same screen."
The games include Snap's flagship Bitmoji Party, Spry Fox's Alphabear Hustle, ZeptoLab's C.A.T.S. Drift Race, Game Closure's Snake Squad, PikPok's Zombie Rescue Squad and Zynga's Tiny Royale. They might be played from Snapchat's main "Chat" messaging feature.
Snap said the gaming platform should have non-skippable, six-second video ads, a relatively new format that boosted fourth-quarter revenue.
Snap also announced a program called "Snap Audience Network" which could allow advertisers to acquire vertical ads operating beyond Snap's platform to third-party apps. The tool isn’t released but Snap made the announcement on Thursday to get developers and publishers agreeable, its spokesman said.
The company also launched new augmented reality "lenses," or filters that overlay video, including templates of landmarks like Buckingham Palace working in london, the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C., along with the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
As portion of Snap's push to show more content away from the platform, the provider also launched "App Stories" with partners like Tinder that would allow users to update their dating profiles with Snapchat Stories.