THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

Snapchat’s newest feature is a complete departure from its original premise

One of Snapchat’s trademark features is that photos and videos disappear. That aspect resonates particularly with young people, who’ve become wary of publicly sharing things online.

Snapchat’s Memories, its newest feature announced today (July 6), is almost the antithesis of a disappearing act. It lets you store your snaps (photos and videos made inside Snapchat) and make Snapchat Stories—photos and videos available to all your followers for 24 hours—from old snaps. Memories will also allow you to import photos and videos from elsewhere on your phone, not just those created within the Snapchat app, and post them to your Story.

It’s easily accessible for users—it only takes a swipe up from the main camera screen—and will be rolling out to users over the next month.

Memories makes sense as a way to keep the app’s core demographic, 18-24 year olds, engaged as Snapchat builds its advertising business. Snapchat’s 100 million daily active users are on the app for an average of between 25 and 30 minutes a day, according to the company.

The new feature, however, could make Snapchat seem like any other social media platform and hurt its popularity. Unlike photo sharing services such as Instagram, Snapchat feels more real because all the content is recorded inside Snapchat. Now, since users will be able to edit and format content ahead of time, Snapchat content could start resembling its older social media predecessors–like Facebook.

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