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Snapchat shuts its lens filter store to focus on advertising

Snapchat is closing its lens store after just two months of operation. The fun little feature allowed users to buy lenses priced at $0.99, which could then be used to animate and transform selfies.

The move has come as a surprise for many onlookers considering the store’s popularity. Tens of thousands of lenses were purchased per day since its launch as Snapchat’s first stab at in-app purchases, reports Recode.

According to Snapchat, the decision will allow it to focus on its advertising business, which the company recently committed to expanding. Sponsored lenses will continue to make appearances among the rotation of ten free lenses available to users everyday. If you’ve been on a lens shopping binge in the past, worry not, Snapchat will let you keep the items you have purchased. Additionally, it will roll out all the paid lenses for free in the future.

Foregoing a solid revenue earner (up to $300,000 per month, according to one estimate) indicates that Snapchat believes advertising is its best monetization strategy. Recently the company has been working with more Discovery partners, and it mentions that big-name brands (including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s) repeatedly advertise with it.

The firm’s biggest move, however, is its alleged push into digital advertising technology. Much like Twitter and Facebook, Snapchat is eyeing the creation of an application programming interface (API) that would allow its partners to tailor ads to the app. Consequently, users will see more call-to-action ads on Snapchat, which will be forwarded to app installation pages or product purchase pages. To cater to the brands, Snapchat is also reportedly working on boosting data and engagement metrics.

The lens store is due to shut down completely on Friday January 8.