Tag Archives: Snapchat

Snap Introduces Fresh Features For Fall

Snapchat introduced new features to help keep conversations with friends fresh, fast, and easy to find! Here is what to expect:

Snap’s new Lock Screen Widgets, available now with iOS 16, keeps conversations with your bestie saved right to your lock screen so you can start chats with one tap. With this new tool, you can save yourself the scrolling when you want to start Snapping, keeping visual conversations with the Snapchat camera right at your fingertips.

Widgets aren’t the only thing customizing your screen this Fall: New Chat Shortcuts at the top of our chat tab will make it easy to do things like spot unread Snaps and Chats from friends, see missed calls, and reply to stories. Our Shortcuts will also remind you if you owe a reply and show you when birthdays are coming up, so you never miss someone’s special day or leave a friend on read.

We are also introducing new tools like Question Stickers so you can AMA-all-day from your Snapchat Story, plus (and just in time for back to school) we’re making Snapchat for Web available to all! Head to https://web.snapchat.com to keep conversations with friends going from any device.

These new features are available now, or coming soon so keep an eye out and your app up to date.

Engadget reported that Snapchat for Web is finally available for all the messaging app’s users worldwide. It could be the better choice for users who have a lot of typing to do and messages to send, since they’ll be looking at a bigger screen and have access to a real keyboard.

According to Engadget, the web interface is pretty basic, but it can also be used to send photos and to make audio and video calls. A company spokesperson previously told Engadget that video calling has become more popular among its users recently. Giving users access to the feature on the web could lead to longer video calls. The spokesperson also told that Snap could bring more of its core features to the web interface if there’s enough demand for them.

Social Media Today reported that initially, only Snapchat+ users could use the web version, which enables users to send messages, conduct video chats and voice calls – basically all the central connection elements of the app will now be available via your desktop PC.

Snapchat for Web also enables you to use Snap Lenses for video calls.

According to Social Media Today, the expanded availability will make it easier for people to keep in touch with their friends via Snap, in more ways, which could be particularly beneficial for the increasing cohort of people that are working from home. Which, as its audience gets older, is becoming a bigger consideration for Snap, and the expanded web version is, in some ways, an acknowledgement of this, as it looks to align with audience shifts.

Unfortunately, Snapchat for Web is incompatible with Safari. Mac users will have to use Firefox or Google Chrome to access that feature.

Snapchat Adds Summer Drops for Snapchat+ Subscribers

Snapchat announced new drops for summer. Starting August 15, 2022, Snapchat+ subscribers can access even more exclusive features as part of your subscription.

The features include:

Priority Story Replies: Your replies will be more visible to Snap Stars.

Post View Emoji: Pick an emoji you want friends to see after they view your Snaps. It’s a signature way to sign-off your Snaps.

New Bitmoji Backgrounds: Give your Bitmoji background more flair with special backgrounds like gleaming gold and a beach paradise.

New App Icons: Change up your home screen Snapchat app icon with new designs.

According to Snapchat’s internal data, as of August 8, 2022, in just over six weeks since they launched Snapchat+, they are thrilled to share there are over 1 million paying subscribers.

Snapchat+ costs $3.99/month. Snapchatters can enable Snatchat+ anytime by visiting their Profile. Snapchat says it will continue to drop more features in the coming months.

Obviously, Snapchat is pointing all of this out in an effort to convince more people to purchase Snapchat+. Those who don’t choose to pay for it will not receive the exclusive monthly drops. To me, it sounds as though Snapchat might be attempting to get non-Snapchat+ users to experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Snapchat+ is now available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Finland and Australia.

TechCrunch reported that Sensor Tower stated that Snap already registered $7.3 million in in-app revenue within 30 days of Snapchat+ launch – with the paid tier estimated to contribute more than $5 million of that sum. The analytics firm said that while the $3.99 monthly plan was a top choice, many folks also opted to get six-month or 12-month subscriptions priced at $21.99 and $39.99 respectively.

Variety reported additional features in Snapchat+ that include:

  • Ghost Trails on the map: to see where your friends who share their location with you have been in the past 24 hours
  • Best Friends Forever: pin your No. 1 BFF
Story rewatch indicator
  • Custom app icons/themes
  • A Snapchat+ badge
  • Friend solar system: See a “Best Friends” badge on someone’s Friendship Profile, which means you’re one of each other’s eight best friends.
  • “Friends” badge: Which means you’re one of their eight closest friends, but they’re not one of yours
  • Ability to access Snapchat messaging functions on the web.

The “eight closest friends” feature makes me think of the “Top 8” feature that was on MySpace (when it was new). Back then, it was entirely possible for people to get mad at you they discovered that they were not in your “Top 8”.

Snapchat Introduces Its First Parental Controls

Snapchat introduced a new feature called Family Center. It allows parents of teenagers to have some insight about who their teens have connected with on Snapchat.

From Snapchat’s post about Family Center:

At Snap, we believe that our products should reflect real-time human behaviors, and how people act and relate to each other in their everyday lives. We’ve made it a point to build things differently from the beginning, with a focus on helping Snapchatters communicate with their close friends in an environment that prioritizes their safety, privacy, and well being…

…Creating a safe and positive experience for snap chatters is critical to this mission. While we want our platform to be safe for all members of our community, we have extra protections in place for teenagers.

For example, on Snapchat:

  • By default, teens have to be mutual friends before they can start communicating with each other.
  • Friend lists are private, and we don’t allow teens to have public profiles.
  • And we have protections in place to make it harder for strangers to find teens. For example, teens only show up as a “suggested friend” or in search results in limited instances, like if they have mutual friends in common.

To build on this, Snapchat has introduced a new in-app tool called Family Center, which will help parents get more insight into who their teens are friends with on Snapchat, and who they have been communicating with, without revealing any of the substance of those conversations.

On Family Center, parents can also easily and confidentially report any accounts that may be concerning directly to Snapchat’s Trust and Safety teams, which work around the clock to help keep Snapchatters safe. Snapchat is also equipping parents and teens with new resources to help them have constructive and open conversations about online safety.

This fall, Snapchat will add additional features to Family Center, including new content controls for parents and the ability for teens to notify their parents when they report an account or a piece of content to Snapchat. Snapchat’s goal is to help empower parents and teens in a way that still protects the teenager’s autonomy and privacy.

The New York Times reported that for parents to access the controls of their teen’s Snapchat account, they need to create their own Snapchat account and be friends with their children, who have to agree to the controls. Snap said it would introduce additional features later, including one that lets parents see whom their children recently became friends with.

According to The New York Times, teenagers on Snapchat have to be mutual friends to message each other on the app, and their profile and friend lists are private. The app requires users to be older than 13, and teenagers cannot change their birth year in the app until they are 18.

Right now, the parental controls are available in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Other countries will be added in the fall.

To me, this seems like a step in the right direction. It gives teenagers some protections from adults who are strangers that seek out teens. It also gives teens just enough autonomy. Parents can see who their teen followed, but cannot read the conversation between their teen and the teen’s friends.

Snapchat Brings Chatting And Video Calling To The Web

Snapchat features like snapping, chatting, and video calling are coming to desktop through a new web app, marking the first time the company has made its service available beyond smartphones, The Verge reported.

According to The Verge, with Snapchat for web, you can log in with your Snapchat account and send private messages or call friends on desktop. Initially, the web platform will be available exclusively to Snapchat Plus subscribers, and its the first major feature launch since Snap announced its paid tier in June. Subscribers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will get access first. Snapchat will only be compatible with Google’s Chrome browser and not Apple’s Safari.

The Verge stated that Snapchat Head of Messaging Product, Nathan Boyd, says that a web offering makes sense because its users are using desktop computers more frequently. Snapchat for Web gives users extra space to chat and call in the same window, with Snap’s AR Lenses coming soon.

“We were always looking for ways to meet our community where they are,” he said in an interview, “It just felt like something that was an unmet opportunity”.

Personally, making Snapchat for Web compatible with only one browser – Google’s Chrome – is going to exclude everyone who uses other browsers. Not everyone is a fan of Chrome, and Snapchat for Web cannot be used on Safari. This doesn’t sound like “always looking for ways to meet our community where they are.”

CNBC reported that Snapchat for Web will be a more stripped-down version of the mobile app, primarily focusing on the app’s messaging feature as opposed to its Stories feature.

TechCrunch reported that to access Snapchat for Web, users need to go to web.snapchat.com and login with their Snapchat username and password. To me, this sounds like a person cannot use Snapchat for Web unless they already have a Snapchat app account.

According to TechCrunch, once you open Snapchat for Web, you can continue your conversations from where you left them on mobile. When your using Snapchat via a desktop, your Bitmoji will appear in chats with a laptop to indicate to others that you’re accessing the chat via Snapchat for Web. It will also have a privacy screen that hides the Snapchat window if you click away for another task.

TechCrunch also reported that messages that are sent via Snapchat for Web will be deleted after 24 hours. The company says that this will prevent people from taking screenshots. However, Snap is aware that people can still take a picture on the screen from their phone, noting that the product isn’t perfect.

In summary: You can’t use Snapchat for Web unless you already have a Snapchat account on the app, and are a Snapchat+ subscriber. You can only use Snapchat for Web on Google’s Chrome browser. Despite limiting the amount of time a Snapchat for Web user can see a message – it sure sounds like there isn’t anything stopping a person from taking a screenshot of that message through the Snapchat phone app.

Snapchat is Working On Snapchat Plus – A Paid Subscription Service

Snap Inc. is testing a paid subscription plan that gives users early access to new and exclusive features, PCMag reported.

The Verge reported that Snapchat Plus will apparently give users early access to features, as well as other abilities. This comes from a statement from Snap spokesperson Liz Markman, who said:

“We’re doing early internal testing of Snapchat Plus, a new subscription service for Snapchatters. We’re excited about the potential to share exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features with our subscribers, and learn more about how we can best serve our community.”

There does not appear to be a whole lot known about what Snapchat Plus would offer. The Verge pointed out that app Researcher Alessandro Paluzzi posted screenshots and information about Snapchat Plus on Twitter:

“So… by subscribing to #Snapchat+ you can:
1 Pin a friend as a #1 BFF
2 Get access to exclusive Snapchat icons
3 Display a badge in your profile
4 See your orbit with BFF
5 See your Friend’s whereabouts in the last 24 hours
6 See how many friends have rewatched your story”

She also pointed out that seeing your friend’s whereabouts in the last 24 hours is only possible if your friends share their location with you. Alessandro Paluzzi started her thread with screenshots that show a variety of prices: 4.59 € /month, 24.99 € / 6 months, 45,99 € /year It is hard to know for certain what the subscription prices will be until Snapchat Plus launches.

TechCrunch reported that the paid subscription tier would give users early access to experimental feature like pinning certain conversations and exclusive icons. According to TechCrunch, Snapchat hasn’t specified what exact benefits Snapchat Plus users would have, nor when it would be rolling out.

TechCrunch also wrote: It is not clear how Snapchat will differentiate between what’s presented to SnapChat Plus subscribers, who are paying for the privilege of using experimental and pre-release features; and those who are part of Snapchat’s existing beta program, which is free (as most beta testing normally is).

As always, we won’t know for certain exactly what Snapchat Plus will offer, or what people will be expected to pay for it. This comes as various other social media sites have begun adding their own paid subscription services. Personally, I doubt anyone is going to subscribe to each and every one of them. People will pick their favorite and ignore the rest.

Snapchat Will Ad Mid-Roll Ads to Snap Star Stories

Snapchat announced that it will be introducing a new opportunity to support creators: mid-roll advertisements in Snap Star Stories. It appears that Snapchat feels that this will help the Snap Star creators to earn money.

In beta testing now with an early set of U.S. Snap Stars, Snap Stars will receive a share of the revenue generated from ads within their public Story. Stories lower the barrier to content creation and engagement, and we believe placing ads within a Snap Star’s public Story will allow an easier path to financial success.

According to Snapchat, this represents a new opportunity to reach Snapchat’s community with a new, high-value placement. Mid-roll advertisements in Snap Star Stories will be available later this year.

TechCrunch reported that a Snapchat spokesperson told them that these advertisements will appear as mid-roll ads inside their stories, and the creator will earn a share of the ad revenue. The payout is determined by a payment formula, which weighs factors like posting frequency and audience engagement. According to TechCrunch, Snapchat declined to comment further on the nature of these payouts.

The Verge reported that the revenue sharing is only being made available to Snap Stars. If you use Snapchat, but are not a Snap Star – you won’t receive any revenue from your stories.

According to The Verge, Snap CEO Evan Spiegal told investors that users are spending less time posting and viewing stories and instead watching content on Spotlight (Snapchat’s TikTok equivalent). It seems to me that Snapchat wants to pull those users away from their TikTok clone in favor of pushing them over to Snap Star Stories.

Will this work? It’s hard to say. I think some Snap Stars will give it a try, in the hopes of earning some money. It is unclear how much they could potentially earn, and that could be a problem if the revenue is too low to be worth it for the creator.

Another potential problem for Snapchat is that most people don’t enjoy watching ads. If Snap Star Stories becomes too cluttered with ads, I suspect that users will lose interest in them… and focus on the more popular Spotlight content.

SnapChat will Remove the “Speed Filter”

SnapChat is eliminating the “speed filter” that allowed users to capture how fast they are moving and share it with friends, NPR reported.

According to NPR, Snap “has defended the feature in the face of warnings from safety advocates who’ve argued that it encourages reckless driving. The company has also faced lawsuits from the families of those who have been injured or killed in car crashes where drivers were moving at excessive speeds, allegedly to score bragging rights on the app.”

NPR provided some examples of reckless driving while using the speed filter:

A 2015 collision involving the speed filter left a driver in Georgia with permanent brain damage. That same year, the feature was tied to the death of three young women in a Philadelphia car accident. In 2016, five people in Florida died in a high-speed collision that reportedly involved the speed filter. In 2017, three young men in Wisconsin clocked a speed of 123 miles per hour on the feature before they crashed into a tree and died.

A spokeswoman from Snap confirmed to NPR that the speed filter would soon be gone. She said the feature is “barely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we are removing it altogether”.

BuzzFeed News reported that Snap has added a “don’t snap and drive” warning while the feature was in use. It also limited the top driving speed that can be shared to 35 mph.

It will take time for the speed filter to be entirely removed from Snap, so the warning and speed limitation are good ways to deter people from using it for reckless driving. Snap is still going to have to face existing lawsuits about the feature.