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Snapchat trademarks raise possibility of mobile payments coming to the app

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Snapchat has turned down billions of dollars from suitors like Google and Facebook, so how does the company plan to profit from its hugely successful messaging app? The traditional and obvious way would be through ads, but it seems Snapchat is also exploring other options like mobile payments. It's hard to picture the ephemeral chat sensation morphing into a Venmo or Square Cash competitor, but trademarks filed by the company hint at that very possibility. Users are sending millions of disappearing snaps each and every day; perhaps they'd be open to sending money — which also has a tendency to gradually disappear  to friends in a similar fashion.

The trademarks are fairly broad in scope, and also open the door to Snapchat implementing some sort of built-in payment system that could allow its massive user base to impulsively buy things without ever leaving the app. Get a snap, decide you want the item, and order it within seconds. That level of convenience could bring in revenue from companies eager to market their stuff to Snapchat's legions of teens. So far Snapchat hasn't announced anything official about its plans to monetize your temporary messages, but it's hired some people with decent track records in the area. Emily White, formerly of Instagram, joined the company as COO last year.