Will payments give Snapchat the next block of a mobile platform?

Gigaom

Today Snapchat rolled out a pay-your-friends feature called Snapcash, powered by Square. After users turn the option on, they can eve the ephemeral text chatting feature of the app, type in the dollar amount they want to send to a friend, and the app will transfer it.

This is Snapchat’s first big experiment with becoming a full-fledged messaging platform, much like China’s WeChat or Korea’s KakaoTalk. These apps attracted their users with messaging first, and then introduced other features like e-commerce shopping, games, banking, celebrity communication, and brand promotions.

A fledgling peer-to-peer payment system like this is a test for Snapchat. It not only will help it to develop a payments process, it will also allow it to gage consumer comfort with sending money through the app. That’s a fundamental building block for other features, from product sales to gaming to banking, that Snapchat could want to implement in the future.

It’s unlikely Snapchat is worth $10 billion

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