While you were busy using the free website builder to create your beautiful site, you might not have noticed Snapchat has released a slew of new features while facing increased competition from Facebook and Instagram. In August of last year, Instagram launched its very own Stories feature and has recently duplicated many of Snapchat’s other tools, such as geofilters and stickers. Facebook also released a Stories feature containing a lot of features originally released by Snapchat, including photo and video posts shared by their users that only last 24 hours. Snapchat fans like us are not worried, with the announcement of Snap’s partnership with NBC and recent studies showing their users aren’t going anywhere, we think these new features are just the beginning.
With the lines between apps growing increasingly blurry, we gathered together a list of these fun new Snapchat features and broke them down in hopes that you can better promote yourself or your business to the platform’s tech-savvy young audience (71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old). Check out the list of new Snapchat features you need to know about:
Storytellers unite! Multi-snap allows you to easily record and share videos in one sequence, rather than having to build your story out of individual videos. To use this new feature, hold the capture button to begin recording a video. When the first 10 seconds is up, the app will automatically begin recording additional 10-second clips for up to 60 seconds total. Once you have the sequence of videos, you will be able to post to your snaps in chronological order send individually, or delete unwanted clips. Here’s your chance to tell your story— as long as it’s 60 seconds or less.
The platform’s most controversial new feature creates an easy way to see where your friends are and what they’re up to. The SnapMap is less about finding directions and more about finding your friends to make plans. You can see the map for yourself, by pinching on your Snapchat camera home screen. Once on the map, you will be able to swipe around to see your friends, whether they are in your city or anywhere in the world! When you find a friend, simply click on their Bitmoji avatar to see their Story or enter their chat to say “hello.” This Snapchat feature also includes a heat map of the most popular places in the world where people are snapping, and you can click through to see public snaps from users. Looking for something to do? You’re getting warmer!
03. Custom Stories
Custom Stories are an amazing new form of Story that makes it easier for groups of people to share their experience together. Tap “Create Story” in the top right corner of your Stories page to get started. From there, you will be able to create up to three custom Stories at a time. This is especially beneficial for businesses interested in sharing content with only the most relevant people, rather than including their entire network in every single snap.
If you or your business is hosting an event, you could create a Custom Story allowing everyone in attendance to add their content to your timeline. At a trade show, your business could look for Custom Stories to join, allowing you to share your snaps with a group of potential customers. Now you’re thinking outside the app!
04. Geofilter from your Phone
The ability to create custom geofilters has been available since late 2016, but until recently, you could only upload your filter through their dedicated website or design your filter with Snapchat’s web tool. You can now click “On-Demand Geofilters” directly in the Snapchat app to access the new mobile creative studio. From there, you will see templates like “graduation” and “wedding” which can be personalized with Bitmoji, text, stickers and more.
The price for each custom filter starts at a low price of $5.99, but the price increases depending on your chosen duration and the size of your geofence. When we ordered our first custom filter, it took Snapchat less than an hour to approve the design. Not bad! Not bad at all…
05. Voice Filters
Have you ever wanted to sound like a robot or alien? US TOO! Previously, voice filters were only part of Snapchat augmented-reality lenses, like the one that made you sound like a bumble-bee. Now you can tap the speaker icon at the bottom left corner of the app and select from a range of character voices to give your Snap some auditory style. We see this change as a great opportunity for spicing up your storytelling, which is what made Snapchat special in the first place.
06. Tint Brush
Tint brush is more than just a color editing tweak, the powerful new tool uses object recognition technology to turn your friends into green aliens or make your hair purple. At this point, tint brush is only available for photos, but Snapchat has a history of expanding the reach of their tools. We expect tint brush to be available for real-time video in no time. To get started with this fun new Snapchat feature, head into the scissor tool menu and select the paintbrush. You will then be able to choose a color and begin outlining the object that needs some color. Go turn those gray skies blue!
07. Vertical Toolkit
Snapchat users know the fun isn’t over when the photo or video is captured; the app includes design tools to perfect your masterpiece before unleashing it on your audience. Once along the bottom of your screen, these design tools have since been moved to the top right and are now known as the Vertical Toolkit. Snapchat didn’t just move this menu, they added some useful and unique features as well:
Backdrops let you trace around an object in your Snap and place a colorful pattern behind it to stand out. To use this tool, tap the Scissors and then the Backdrop icon. Trace around the object, select a Backdrop design, and add a layer of design between objects for a creative way to augment the background of your image, not just your face.
Limitless Snaps are activated when you select the infinity icon in the Snap photo timer. Friends can look at the Snap as long as they want. Careful, your snaps will still disappear if closed.
Magic Eraser will let you erase something (or someone) from a Snap photo. Simply tap the Star icon inside the Scissor menu to make something in your photo magically disappear.
Emoji Brush allows you to paint with your favorite emoji. Use it to dress up your snap or write a fun message!
Looping Videos are for people who want to relive moments over and over! This GIF-like feature will loop your Snaps until the viewer closes or adds to the story.
Attachment (Paperclip) lets you attach a URL of your choice (a link to an event, a flyer or your Wix website) and attach it to your Snap. Your followers can swipe up to open the URL in Snapchat’s internal browser.