Along with every other major social network, Snapchat was vying to be your second screen during the Oscars. Unlike its competitors, however, Snapchat was also busy playing catch up in regards to its desktop experience.
As a large number of the ephemeral messaging app’s 100 million user base tuned into its Oscars Live Stories, Snapchat was rather discreetely tinkering with its website.
And if you were to access its website now, you’d notice a major difference in comparison to the minimal layout you were confronted with in the past. Whereas previously Snapchat’s site mainly acted as an advertisement for its app — allowing you to click through to its download page on respective app stores — during the Academy Awards it hosted its Oscars coverage in a new ‘Live’ section.
The move is a major hint at the app’s Web strategy and will no doubt please those of its users who were craving a desktop experience. Before you get too excited in the hopes that you can start uploading your snaps to the Web, though, it’s best to lower your expectations — for now at least.
At present, the only major update to the website is its ‘Live’ section dedicated to Oscars coverage. There’s plenty to see, however, especially if you prefer the app’s vertical aspect ratio. The backstage awards footage includes all the filters, emoji, and text-based reactions regular users will be accustomed to. And for those with short attention spans, you can click on each clip to skip to the next video in the slideshow style of a Live Story. Other buttons include the ability to pause the action (which blurs the screen, likely intended to stop you from taking a snapshot) and mute the sound.
That’s all well and good, but what exactly does it mean for the future of Snapchat on the Web? The company itself is keeping quiet about the update, which means it’s up to us to speculate as to how it will be expanded upon. As some reports claim, it is possible that the website will now host more Live Stories from major events. Much like Twitter’s Moments tab, this will allow uninitiated users to access trending topics without actually having to come to grips with the app itself.
Additionally, it may one day allow users to upload their own snaps and follow others via their own curated timelines, bringing its desktop experience much closer to that of rivals Facebook and Twitter. Snapchat recently allowed people to access their profile URLs, making it easier than ever to find and follow others. A desktop experience, like the one detailed above, could very well make it easier to find and share content too.