Snap announced a new gaming platform and an ad network on Thursday as it looks to find new ways to generate revenue. Snap Games, which users will be able to access from inside the app, allows players to elect to watch ads, which will give them rewards in the games. In-app purchases, as well as purchases made via the Snap store, are expected to be major revenue drivers for Snap and developer partners.
Snap also announced the Snap Audience Network, which lets publishers working with Snap target users via third-party apps, similar to what companies like Twitter and Facebook already do. It also announced the launch of eight new programs for its Discover section, and a slew of augmented reality upgrades to its popular Lens Studio, including a new lens that animates major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace.
Snap’s new product rollouts and it ability to better monetize its services are all good signs for investors who lived through the company’s disastrous redesign, but what really stands out from Snap’s Partner Summit: Snapchat is fun again. As inexplicable as a bouncing, dancing Buckingham Palace may be, it’s part of Snap’s version of alternative reality. With games, lenses and products like Bitmoji playing together seamlessly, that version may be incredibly fun. The question now is whether it’s enough to convince users to come back and experience it.