Snapchat has announced a major change to how its users experience the video and picture messaging app.
Previously, Snapchat users held their finger on the screen of their device to keep content active. Once they lifted their finger away, the content disappeared. However, an update revealed on the fast-growing social media platform’s blog states that users will now be required to tap once on the screen rather than hold their finger down to access pictures or video.
Snapchat has also announced a number of other changes:
- The new “Add Nearby” function allows users to easily add Snapchat friends as they socialise together. The Add Nearby function allows a user to see any users near to them who have the Add Nearby screen open at the same time. Because it is not designed to track your location and those of users around you on a constant basis, the function is not intrusive, so users will not be adding other random users located near to them that they don’t know.
- The Snapcodes function has been upgraded to allow users to put a selfie at the centre of their own personal Snapcode. This will make it easier for their friends to recognise them. The use of Snapcodes has been streamlined thanks to the addition of screenshots.
- Snapchat user accounts have been made more secure thanks to added capability via two-factor authentication.
The fact that Snapchat users will no longer have to hold their finger on the screen opens up the possibility of longer-form content becoming popular on the app, which, in turn, creates additional commercial possibilities. Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s CEO, has spoken in the past of a possible initial public offering, though the platform’s philosophy has been geared more towards serving its users and enhancing their experience, rather than monetising them for profit.
In terms of growth, Snapchat is certainly seeing a lot of that, with the company recently publishing figures showing that its platform has in excess of 100 million active users on a daily basis. These users are watching more than 2 billion videos a day. The California-based company opened itself up to professional video production in October 2014, hosting its first paid-for advertisement, a trailer for horror movie Ouija.