Snap launches paid version of Snapchat app

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FILE PHOTO: A woman stands in front of the logo of Snap Inc on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City

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(Reuters) -Snap Inc on Wednesday launched a paid version of the Snapchat app in the U.S., priced at $3.99 a month, and a few other markets, in a major step away from a revenue model dependent mostly on advertising.

Snap, which had teased the subscription version, Snapchat+, earlier this month, said it would be available in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at launch. (https://reut.rs/3nskBOM)

Social media firms are under pressure as companies cut back on ad budgets in response to rising costs and weakening consumer spending.

Last month, Snap said it would miss revenue and profit targets for the second quarter and would have to slow hiring and lower spending, sending its shares down over 40% in a single day.

Initial features in the paid version include the ability to change the app's icon, see who re-watched a story and pin other users on chat history as a "BFF", Snap's senior vice president of product, Jacob Andreou, told tech news site The Verge. (https://bit.ly/3ytXvh2)

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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