Dubbed Snapkit, prototypes of the platform suggest it will give developers access to Snap's camera software so that they can integrate it into applications that can then share photos and videos back to Snapchat. Additionally, the platform is said to include "login with Snapchat" and Bitmoji avatar features.
Snapchat has not confirmed these reports but TechCrunch says multiple sources have indicated that Snap, Snapchat's parent company, is already in discussions with app developers to integrate Snapkit.
As TechCrunch's Josh Constine notes, Snapkit would represent a new direction for Snap, which compared to its biggest competitor, Facebook, has largely shunned outside developers, arguably to its detriment. While launching a developer platform and letting third parties access its functionality and data will create new risks for Snapchat, Constine suggests that because Snapchat doesn't collect nearly as much data about its users as Facebook does, its risks are lower.
And with a teen userbase that isn't necessarily as active on Facebook, Snapkit could prove to be a valuable tool in Snapchat's battle against its much larger rival.