SALT LAKE CITY — Snapchat is now a place for games.
- Snapchat debuted its new Snap Games feature on Friday, which allows app users to play real-time, multiplayer games while texting and talking with friends, according to TechCrunch.
- The update comes after the app’s acquisition of PrettyGreat, an Australian game studio that brought us such games as Fruit Ninja, back in 2017.
- The new games, including Bitmoji Party, which is essentially like Mario Party, rolled out Friday, according to Mashable.
- Other games include “Alphabear Hustle,” which is a word game, and “C.A.T.S.: Drift Race,” which is a racing game, The Verge reports.
- Snapchat can watch six-second commercials that reward them with bonus content and in-game rewards, which will be the company’s way of monetizing the new feature, according to TechCrunch.
- “Snapchat will share revenue from the ads with developers, though it refused to specify the split. It could be a little weird watching ads to more easily beat your friends. But down the line it’s easy to imagine Snapchat selling cosmetic upgrades via in-app purchases akin to ‘Fortnite,’” according to TechCrunch.
Why it matters: Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, sees the addition of games as a way to keep people’s time and attention focused on the app, according to The Verge.
By the numbers: Snapchat — despite the Rihanna and Chris Brown issue and Kylie Jenner’s tweet — remains a popular brand with young Americans. According to the Pew Research Center, 78 percent of Americans 18- to 24-years old use Snapchat. But the number is closer to 54 percent for those 25 to 29.
Bigger picture: Snap isn’t the only social network dipping into the video game industry. Facebook reportedly will add a games tab to its app, allowing users easy access to games in the app, according to my report for the Deseret News.