Snapchat's new 'Memories' a huge change for users

By Hayley Tsukayama

Twitter's new photo stickers will be searchable, like a "visual spin on the hashtag." Photo / Getty Images
Twitter's new photo stickers will be searchable, like a "visual spin on the hashtag." Photo / Getty Images

Ever wish you could hang on to some of your snaps a little bit longer? Well, now Snapchat is introducing a new feature, Memories, that will let you do just that.

Snapchat was originally touted as a social network that let your messages disappear, but its fast growth and popularity has encouraged the network to add more of the trappings of a traditional network, including advertising and sponsored content.

Now, in addition to being able to save a Snap to your phone's camera roll or gallery, you'll also be able to back them up to Snapchat's servers in the Memories gallery.

If a Snap was taken more than a day ago, it will appear with a frame around it, so people know that it's not hot off the presses. Users can also save Stories - Snaps that they've strung together - into Memories.

See a Snapchat promotional video showing the changes here:

Using Memories, users also will be able to string together old Snaps or Stories into longer pieces of content.

You'll also be able to designate certain Snaps as being for "My Eyes Only," in case you (a) want to shoot scandalous snaps and (b) want to keep them but not share them.

Snapchat introduced the big change with a video featuring a young, happy couple sharing their vacation Snaps with their parents. It explains nearly all the questions you may have.
(With the exception of who, exactly, is taking that video of the couple while they're under the waterfall.)

The company was careful to note that this doesn't mean it's preserving every single photo from your phone to its permanent servers. "We won't backup any photos or videos from your Camera Roll, unless you use one to make a new Story or add it to My Eyes Only," the company said in a blog post Wednesday. "In that case, we'll back up only the photo or video that you used."

Memories is rolling out to iOS and Android users "over the next month or so," the company said.

The social network has been encouraging brands to use and buy Lenses and Geofilters to specifically target its young, coveted and often under-served advertising audience.

Yet Snapchat has also made moves to change its product in a way that broadens its audience into the realm of "olds" -- generally, anyone over the age of 25. Snapchat is still a growing threat to other social networks. But it's also true that Facebook and others have simply added Snapchat-like features to their networks to put the squeeze back on the younger network.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal all but declared the age of Snapchat over, noting that parents are starting to join their kids on the network. The question will be whether Snapchat will keep its original appeal as it moves along more traditional paths, or if it's able to -- like Facebook before it -- enjoy an older, higher-spending audience even if it comes at the expense of its cool factor.

- Washington Post

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