Edit backgrounds, alter voices, and send Paperclip links with Snapchat update

Snapchat is ending the link boycott: Snap Inc began rolling out an update that allows users to attach links, cut the background out of photos, and add augmented voice effects. Snapchat Paperclip links let users swipe to see an attached link while the remaining updates expand on the platform’s photo editing and sharing tools. The link capability and added photo and voice features began to roll out globally on Wednesday, according to TechCrunch.

Snapchat Paperclip links allows users to attach a link to a photo before sending. Users can access the feature by tapping on the paperclip icon and pasting a link. On the other end, viewers can swipe to see the link without leaving the Snapchat app thanks to a built-in browser. While links weren’t entirely banned on Snapchat before, the platform previously only allowed links on sponsored and Discover posts.

Snap Inc. is working to make sure the new feature doesn’t present users with something they didn’t want to see. The new feature uses Google Safe Browsing tools as well as additional safety nets developed by Snap itself. Snaps with links will also show a small preview before users swipe to follow the link.

Along with Snapchat Paperclip links, the platform is launching more photo tools with what Snap is calling Backdrops. The new feature is a reversal of the traditional Snapchat tools that allow users to augment their face with a mask and instead adds graphics to the background. Backdrops at first look like a giant (or repeating) sticker that covers the entire image. But then users can cut out the subject of the photo by tracing on the touchscreen, which will leave the Backdrop only on the background of the image.

The feature isn’t as instant as masks since the program can’t automatically detect the background as it can a face, but it brings more features that fans of the augmented reality photo features are likely going to appreciate.

The final feature launched on Wednesday lets users add not just their face but their voice to Snaps. Images that are paired with a recording (accessible with a tap on the microphone icon) can now alter user’s voices to sound like a robot, a cat, or several other “voice filters.”

The update expands what Snapchat is most loved for — fun augmented reality camera effects and the much-copied Stories feature.

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