Snapchat kills off 'Snapcash' feature that allowed users to be sent money

Andrew Griffin
A 3D printed Snapchat logo is seen through broken glass in this illustration taken November 7, 2017: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Snapchat has dropped a feature that let users receive cash through the app.

The tool – known as Snapcash – will now be removed from the app.

It is just one of a wide variety of features that owner Snap has been gradually introducing to the app. Those have included addition as diverse as glasses and videos that can live outside of Snapchat.

The Snapcash feature was introduced in 2014. It was intended as a way of allowing users to send money to each other, without having to leave the app.

But a huge number of other companies – from Venmo's app to the payment options now built in to both Android and Apple phones – had much the same idea, and Snapchat struggled to gain traction.

Snap hasn't announced why the feature will be shut down. But it was unclear how many people ever used it, given the wide variety of alternatives that are available.

The company might have been keen to shut down those who do use it. One of the key groups on Snapcash is a market for erotic content, with the feature being used as a way for people to pay people they follow and receive explicit pictures in return.

The removal was first found by a developer, who spotted a note in Snapchat's code that makes clear that after a certain date the feature will no longer be available.

Snapchat does not seem to be giving up on payments, however. Recently spotted code suggested the company might be creating a way for people to point their phone at objects in the real world and then buy them online.

The feature was created in partnership with Square, a payments company, which also runs its own similar platform called Square Cash. That feature will not be shut down, according to a report in Techcrunch, which first reported the removal of Snapcash.