Patreon, the crowd-funding startup that gives artists and performers a way to get paid for their creative efforts, added a feature to its app for posting 24-hour images for subscribers who pay at least $1 a month, per TechCrunch. Patreon Lens is a Snapchat-like tool for creators who want to share “behind-the-scenes” photos and videos that automatically disappear after a day.
Patreon Lens lets content creators annotate photos and videos with captions, but Patreon doesn’t plan to roll out augmented reality (AR) selfie filters like those seen on Snapchat or Instagram, per Variety. Creators also make Lens content public as a way to tempt fans to subscribe to their Patreon feed.
The startup began testing Lens with 50 creators as a separate app in June. Patreon can be downloaded for free for iOS and Android devices.
The news is the latest example of how Snapchat's popularity has encouraged a number of other mobile platforms to copy its features. The development also points to how Patreon continues to try to offer creators more ways to attract users and earn money.
Patreon Lens is intended to help its creative community strengthen the bonds with their fans by giving content creators the tools to post disappearing pictures and videos without having to use another social media platform that doesn’t pay them for their efforts. The feature also lets artists, comedians, pundits and game developers save the time and hassle of setting up an Instagram or Snapchat account that’s only available to their Patreon patrons. But that kind of workaround required double-checking which people should have access.
Patreon has about 1 million paid subscribers who paid an average of $12 a month to 50,000 creators last year, TechCrunch said. The service also has faced backlash after changing its content moderation and censorship, and how to handle credit card processing fees. In December, the company paused a plan to change its fee structure after creators complained of losing subscribers who wanted to avoid paying high fees, per TechCrunch.
Patreon aims to keep artists from going independent and seeking direct sponsorship from patrons without having to pay a commission to the crowd-funding service. The company collects a 5% fee on transactions, which is a bargain compared with the typical 30% cut that Apple and Google collect in app stores, or the 45% charged by Facebook and YouTube for ad revenue sharing. The addition of Lens may give creators another reason to stick with the Patreon platform.