Snap Launches Third-Party Developer Platform ‘SnapKit’
With the launch of its new app developer platform, SnapKit, Snapchat outlines data security measures aimed at putting users first.
Snap just announced a platform for third-party app developers, called SnapKit, that lets other apps used Snapchat features, including stickers and Bitmoji. It also turns Snap into an authentication tool app makers can embed in their own apps to let people easily log in — similar to the way many apps let you use your Facebook username and password to gain entry.
For years, apps such as Tinder and Spotify have connected to rival social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing them to easily log in or share information about what songs they listen to.
It’s also clear, though, that Snap learned from some of Facebook‘s mistakes. Snap‘s APIs share much less information with developers than Facebook’s APIs did. Snap’s login API, for example, only gives developers access to a person’s Snapchat username. It does not give them other demographic information like age or location, and Snap VP of Product Jacob Andreou says, “We definitely are not planning on ever making the full friends list available to developers.”
Snap also plans to manually review all API partners. “Any future third-party SnapKit app integration submitted to us will need to go through a review and approval process to make sure we know how their integration will work,” a company spokesperson explained.
The move should help Snapchat grow its brand with people who don’t use the app. If people start seeing Stories on third-party websites, it could help encourage more sign-ups, or at the very least help people understand what Snapchat does. The Snapchat login option could also help retain existing users. If you rely on your Snapchat account to get into other apps, you probably won’t delete it.
Snap working with a handful of partners to kick things off, including Tinder, Postmates, Pandora, Poshmark, Eventbrite, and Giphy, and interested developers can apply for access on the company’s website.