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Snapchat takes on the hashtag with Our Story

If you’re developing a hugely successful independent messaging app, you need to stay on your toes while the big names try and cash in on your idea. For Snapchat, that means adding extra features and functions to its app: the recent launch of Stories (longer, more permanent snaps) has proved a hit with users, and the next upgrade in the pipeline is called Our Story.

As reported by Josh Constine at TechCrunch, who had an early preview of the way Our Story works, the feature pulls together photos and videos from any user based around a single event. You can think of it as the equivalent of a Twitter hashtag in the way it gives users the opportunity to check out snaps being posted by other people whether or not they are connected as friends.

There are some crucial differences, however: firstly, Our Story is geo-fenced, so only users who are actually at an event can contribute. Secondly, Snapchat curates the feed, so low-quality or irrelevant content is removed. In theory that should mean a much better experience when you browse through one of the Our Story feeds, and TechCrunch’s Constine came away impressed. Through this curation, Snapchat hopes to offer higher quality event feeds than either Twitter or Instagram are able to. 

“We built Our Story so that Snapchatters who are at the same event location can contribute Snaps to the same Story,” said Snapchat in a blog post announcing the new feature. “If you can’t make it to an event, watching Our Story makes you feel like you’re right there!” Available events will appear in the Send to… menu, though for now there’s no option to create unofficial customized events between friends.

“My Story has always represented a singular, personal experience,” adds the Snapchat team. “We wanted to build something that offered a community perspective — lots of different points of view. After all, our friends often see the same things in totally different ways.”

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