A few weeks ago Snapchat updated to version 6.0. In addition to adding a shiny new interface, users were sent a video from Team Snapchat that introduced a new feature: Snapchat Stories. Unfortunately video-snaps are not the best means to relay important information (only 21% of all video snapchats are viewed with sound), leaving users confused as to how the new function works.
How it works: Users are now prompted with the option to add a snap to their story in camera mode and also when selecting friends to send a snap to. When you add a snap to your story, it sits in a new section of the app (the right-most screen) , where it can be viewed by anyone on your friends list for 24 hours after it is posted. When you view a Snapchat story, you are presented with every snap a user has added within the last 24 hours.
What it means: By adding this new interaction, Snapchat has changed from a service to send and receive direct messages, to an app on which you can view and publish content. This fundamental change in the apps functionality will give users the option to post content publicly without taking away the closed nature of a standard snap. Overall this will be a win for the app, but there are still a few kinks to work out.
Unlike Instagram, there is no public interaction with the content that is posted. This means there are no likes to compete for and no comments to contribute to the images and videos being shared. Even in entering a more public arena, Snapchat still lacks the gamification and socialization aspects we get from most content sharing apps. Will this lack of communal interaction prevent Snapchat stories from becoming the next big thing? TechCrunch doesn’t think so. I won’t agree with them until I see some more content in my feed, because right now the only story on there is about me and Tony: