Snapchat’s characteristic disappearing posts could be threatened by the company’s latest financial woes. According to an anonymous source from “a person familiar with the matter,” Snapchat is toying with the idea of extending the life of public snaps, Reuters reported. The public snaps could see a longer lifespan or even become permanent.
Snapchat posts shared to our Story originally had the same 24-hour lifespan as private posts, but have already expanded to last for 90 days. These public posts inside the Our Story section are visible to any user on the platform and can also be embedded on the web. The anonymous source suggests that users could still go in and delete public posts if the platform doesn’t self-delete.
Snap Inc. is also considering a way to list the actual identity of the person behind the public post instead of the username, Reuters says. The changes could help make Snapchat’s recent option to embed posts more useable, preventing the post from disappearing from the webpage after it expires. Reuters suggests including the user’s identity could also encourage more platforms, such as news outlets, to embed Snapchat posts.
While encouraging more embeds could get posts in front of potential new users outside the app, Reuters suggests the move could also help the company financially. Advertisers may be more likely to invest in ads on a post that doesn’t disappear right away. Data that doesn’t disappear could also be used for studies, similar to the way Twitter sells data to research organizations.
The change could potentially help the struggling company, but Snapchat users aren’t exactly known for welcoming change. A redesign last year was met by an outcry against all the changes, leading Snap Inc. to continue refining the new design changes. Since then, Snapchat daily user counts have dropped. Moving away from the self-deleting posts could also have privacy implications, though the changes are directed toward publicly shared posts.
Snapchat hasn’t commented on the reports. The anonymous source says that the company is only considering the possibility and researching potential ramifications and benefits of the change — so while the move is a possibility, it’s also a change that may never launch live on the app.
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