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Snap joins online game fray, unveils advertising products

By The News · 07 of April 2019 14:29:42
AP Photo, Snapchat, No available, FILE- This Aug. 9, 2017, file photo shows the Snapchat app on a mobile device in New York. Snapchat is joining the online-games bandwagon with a new service that lets people play together on its mobile platform. The company says it wants to make it easier for friends to play together. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Snapchat is joining the online-games bandwagon with a new service that lets people play together on its mobile platform. The company says it wants to make it easier for friends to play together.

Snap Inc. also unveiled at Los Angeles event Thursday new products to help companies advertise on its service, including Snapchat Ad Kit and Snapchat Audience Network. The tools let businesses send ads both to Snapchat users and people who don’t use the service, within other apps. The setup is similar to what Facebook does with its own ad service.

In addition, Snapchat launched original shows that can only be watched on its service, including “Can’t Talk Now,” which follows a group of high school kids with the story told through their phones.

Snap joins Google and Apple in launching a gaming platform in the hopes of attracting new users — or at least keeping existing ones coming back instead of leaving for the wildly popular Fortnite game.

Snap has been struggling with declining user numbers and stiff competition from Facebook’s Instagram. It had 186 million daily active users in the last quarter of 2018, compared with 187 million in the third quarter.