Snapchat is looking to stay relevant, now that its highly anticipated IPO is history. It could do that with the introduction of searchable Snapchat Stories.
If browsing through your friends’ (and some strangers’) self-documented experiences via Snapchat Stories isn’t enough to satisfy your penchant for vicarious living, then perhaps the ability to search for specific uploads will help. On Friday, the social media platform announced “a new way to understand what’s happening in Snaps that are submitted to Our Story, and to create new Stories using advanced machine learning.” All that to say that as of now (in select cities), you can search more than one million unique Stories on Snapchat.
The new feature takes Snapchat out of the more passive realm of watching content and into a more active arena; one already inhabited by other platforms like YouTube or Twitter. And like Twitter, Snapchat is also deviating from one of its most defining features — it’s not character count, but rather ephemerality. With the introduction of searchable Stories, Snapchat confirmed in a statement to TechCrunch that “some Snaps submitted to Our Stories that appear in the new Search feature will be visible for less than a day to up to a few weeks or even months.”
So if you want to know what happened at the high school football game you missed or the latest looks from a Fashion Week anywhere around the world, you can look for it directly instead of trying your luck by scrolling endlessly. “The best part of Stories is seeing the world through the eyes of our community. It’s easy to add your point of view — simply take a Snap and add it to Our Story,” Snapchat wrote in a blog post announcement. “You might see it included in relevant Stories depending on what you’re Snapping.”
As Snapchat continues to refine this latest feature, it’ll add more functionality as well. In particular, the social media platform hopes to make it possible to categorize Story submissions by what voices are saying or by what music is playing, so you could even search for a specific conversation topic or song lyric.
So start searching, friends. You never know how deep and dark this rabbit hole might be.