Skip to main content

Snapchat starts charging for Lenses and then retweets complainers

snapchat vurb
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Snapchat users have been playing about with Lenses for a few months now. The feature comprises animated selfie overlays that in just a couple of taps can have you barfing rainbows or looking like a monster.

The seven available lenses are free to use and, in keeping with Snapchat’s ephemeral theme, one disappears from the lineup each day, with a new one appearing.

In the latest of several recent monetization efforts, the LA-based startup on Friday launched a store offering 30 new lenses for 99 cents each that you can use over and over.

For those who don’t want to fork out for the feature, the seven free lenses remain, with a new one continuing to appear each day.

Snapchat, a startup that seems to like doing things a little differently, decided to retweet messages from some of the naysayers:

At the same time it retweeted a few positive ones to balance things up a bit:

This latest in-app purchase from Snapchat follows another rolled out in September that lets users replay snaps up to three times for 99 cents. And like Lenses, it also offers a free version of the feature that gives users one chance a day to take a second look at a snap before it disappears.

As for this latest in-app purchase option, you can preview each of the store’s lenses for free, but it’ll cost you a buck to use them in a snap. To activate lenses, simply press and hold on your face and the overlays will appear at the bottom of the display. Swipe to the end of the free options to locate the store’s offerings.

The new store for Lenses is currently available to Snapchatters in several countries, including the U.S., U.K., and Australia, though if you’re elsewhere and are desperate to gussy up your mug, be patient, it’s bound to go global soon enough.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more