Snapchat is about to expand into a gaming platform as well as a multimedia messaging app, according to a new report.
Per The Information, Snap will from this fall allow third-party developers to make games for playing within Snapchat. One gaming publisher is apparently already signed up.
The move would make Snapchat a bit more like Tencent’s enormously successful WeChat app, which is now making the Chinese company an awful lot of money through in-game purchases.
Money isn’t the only name of the game, though—user engagement also benefits from having more stuff to do within the app. And user engagement is currently a significant problem for Snap (snap).
The company’s shares tumbled earlier this month after an analyst noted that Snapchat’s users were spending less time using the app, while also cutting his estimate of user numbers. Analysts disagree on that last point, though; some reckon Snapchat is still enjoying significant growth.
Either way, it’s clear that the app needs to offer more in order to fend off rivals, in particular the Facebook-owned Instagram.
Instagram is now estimated to be worth $100 billion, if it were a standalone company. It has a billion users around the world—Snapchat has less than a fifth as many—and is expected to grow 13% in the U.S. this year.
However, Instagram doesn’t offer games. Let’s see if Snapchat can give itself a boost with games and its other content plans.