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Snapchat gets major update with new captions, discovery tools, and geofilter themes

Snapchat has just launched a major update to its iOS app and its custom geofilters feature. There’s something for everyone in the upgrade, version 9.38, including new discovery options that come on the heels of Instagram’s suggested Stories feature. The two rival apps look set to jostle back and forth for your attention for the foreseeable future. So, what is it about Snapchat’s update that could work to its advantage?

For starters, the app is adding some cool caption features to iOS. With the update installed, you will have the ability to bold, italicize, or underline the text captions on your snaps (check out the images below to see the feature in action). Additionally, you can now animate your captions by pinning them to objects in your videos — the feature was previously restricted to emojis.

Snapchat has also updated its custom geofilters by adding editing tools to its online portal, making it easier than ever to create your own graphics. In the past, the feature required a fair bit of editing know-how on the part of the user, but that’s no longer the case. Now you can create your own geofilters directly within Snapchat’s web portal, thanks to the introduction of customizable themes. The new editing options cover all the major special occasions, allowing you to create geofilters for birthdays, weddings, and other memorable events. As usual, the custom geofilters come at a price, which depends on a number of factors such as the geographic area of activity and time duration.

You can now create your own geofilters on Snapchat's dedicated website

You can now create your own geofilters on Snapchat’s dedicated website

As mentioned at the outset, Snapchat is also boosting its discovery options in order to allow you to share your activity with more users, and vice versa. Unfortunately, the app still lacks a prominent discovery section (such as Instagram’s Explore tab), making it a tad difficult to find new users to follow, unless you’re willing to do a bit of online research.

The iOS update brings with it the ability to view the stories of accounts you don’t follow. You’ll still have to manually search for their Snapchat username, and it only works if they have their “View My Story” settings set to public.

A relatively minor new update also comes in the form of quick lens filter access. Basically, in order to now use Snapchat’s ever-changing set of selfie filters, all you have to do is tap your face once to see the options at the bottom of the display. That’s a whole lot of updates to get to grips with. You can download the latest version of Snapchat for iOS right now.