Snapchat Patent Filings Show Focus on Monetization

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -Snapchat has shown its hand on how plans on monetizing the service, according to two payments-related patents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

The two applications focus on processing and transferring electronic payments. The first patent, filed in July, states it is for, "Computer application software for processing electronic payments to and from others that may be downloaded from a global computer network." The second patent is for the use of "Electronic transfer of money for others; providing electronic processing of electronic funds transfer, ACH, credit card, debit card, electronic check and electronic, mobile and online payments."

The Venice, Calif.-based company's application with the Department of Commerce still has to be approved. Snapchat refused to comment on the filings when reached for comment by TheStreet. 

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After reportedly declining offers from two tech giants, Snapchat's plans to make money have been highly anticipated. Google (GOOG) reportedly offered to buy Evan Spiegel's start-up for $4 billion in 2013 and Facebook (FB) tried to buy the private messaging application for $3 billion.

Meanwhile, Snapchat, which is estimated to have 82 million users according to Business Insider Intelligence, has been slowly integrating brands and incentives for users to share locations into the 'selfie'-sharing mobile application. The company introduced 'Geofilters' on Tuesday, location sensitive filters available to users in California and New York that allow them the ability to add a neighborhood specific sticker to Snapchats.

The image sharing application also has attracted larger companies, with Viacom's (VIA.B) MTV using Snapchat to announce nominees for the Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Thursday. 

In addition, Snapchat launched the collaborative and location focused 'Our Story' feature with its live stream of the Electric Daisy Carnival in June. Snapchat created an 'Our EDC Story' for the event allowing users who activated location services to contribute to the feed and users who could not attend the festival to watch on a live feed through the "EDCLive" story. 

--Written by Kathryn Mykleseth in New York

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