NEW YORK — This hasn’t been a good week for Snapchat.
News that the startup got a 25% markdown from a big investor dominated the first half of the week.
And on Friday, Snapchat released a new version of its app that makes people pay to keep using certain “Lenses,” a special type of photo filter.
When users saw that they had to shell out 99 cents for the feature, they took to Twitter to complain.
“Did I actually just buy the rainbow filter on @Snapchat what am I even doing with my life? Come on snapchat…this ain’t right,” wrote Priah Matharu.
“@Snapchat NO ONE IS GOING TO BUY THOSE FILTERS LOSERS,” a user named Raghad raged.
Interestingly, instead of ignoring or downplaying the reactions, Snapchat started retweeting some of the reactions from its own Twitter account. This action prompted its own set of responses, but they were mostly positive and humorous.
A Snapchat spokeswoman did not respond to questions about why they were retweeting the complaints.
Lenses are goofy, colorful illustrations that people can apply to their selfies before they send them to their friends. You’ve probably seen pictures of people with rainbows cascading from their mouths — that’s a Lens.
The special photo filters were first introduced in September as a free feature. But Lenses are apparently popular enough that Snapchat now wants to make money from them.
There are about 30 Lenses that people can pay to keep permanently, and seven that will still be free.
This is the second paid feature that Snapchat has introduced. A few months ago, Snapchat started charging people for a replay video option for 99 cents too.