Snap has launched a standalone video editing app called Story Studio, which is meant to give creators more precise editing control over vertical videos and allow them to add elements like text, trending audio, and AR lenses. First announced in May, the app is now available as an “early version” to iOS users in the US, UK, and Canada.
Story Studio, which Snap says is being “built alongside creators,” is meant to be a more advanced video editing tool, like for creators using Spotlight. Launched a year ago, Spotlight is Snap’s response to TikTok — videos edited in Story Studio can be exported directly to Spotlight or a user’s Snapchat story. Videos can be downloaded and shared on other platforms, and they aren’t watermarked, unlike TikToks.
Snap also announced that since the launch of Spotlight last November, the company has paid out more than $250 million to 12,000 creators. The company says it’s paying millions per month to users with top performing Spotlight submissions but did not specify an exact number. Snap says it will continue to offer a “range of opportunities” to reward popular creators but didn’t say whether the millions in payments per month would continue.
Snap still faces stiff competition in the mobile video space from TikTok and Instagram Reels, and Facebook said in July it will pay out $1 billion to creators through 2022. Though Snap says that Spotlight creators are posting three times as often as they were when the feature was announced, it’s still a relatively new product, and it’s up against behemoths like TikTok with 1 billion monthly users.