Social media giant Snap Inc. is opening up its application Snapchat’s walls to allow growth.
The changes come as the app’s publisher, Snap, is still in search of a viable economic model for the platform while also facing growing competition from Instagram Stories.
People make “stories” by posting short videos for their friends on Snapchat. The clips last for 24 hours. Right now, anyone can save their own videos on their phone and share them from there. For official accounts — the ones from celebrities, sports teams and politicians — and public group stories, now anyone can share the content via a link, which helps Snapchat track where the content is spreading. When shared via link, the stories will remain ephemeral, disappearing in 24 hours if it’s a story by one user, or 30 days if it’s a story from multiple users.
Often criticised for its unnecessarily complex interface and lack of simplicity, the Snapchat app — particularly popular among teens — has been given a serious overhaul, clearly separating social content (content shared by friends) and media content (influencers, sponsors, etc.).
However, the update is slower than expected. The latest version of the app is currently available only in Canada and Australia.