In a big update clearly designed to try to stay relevant in a struggle with Facebook & Instagram, “limitless” Snapchat changes its nature.
Everyone’s favorite ephemeral social platform – the stock and trade of which has been its fleeting messages – has decided users can keep messages alive for as long as they please – or, at least, until the recipients decide to move on.
“We’ve all felt the frustration of not being able to fully enjoy a Snap – even after replaying it – and we wanted to give you the option of allowing the recipient to enjoy your Snap as long as they’d like,” explained a post on Snapchat’s blog. These changes allow us to continue evolving the Snapchat service and provide a foundation for introducing even more creative tools for making fun Snaps! We hope you enjoy it!
The new limitless time setting will also apply to Snapchat’s Stories feature.
It’s clear Snapchat is feeling the pressure from the Facebook/Instagram juggernaut which has over the past few months unabashedly copied Snapchat features (such as Stories and disappearing messaging) in an effort to usurp the ephemeral message app’s popularity with Millennials.
Snapchat’s update goes to the very heart of its appeal: messages will only last a very short time and are (in theory) dashed to unknown etherscape never to be seen again. It was only a few months ago Snapchat decided to give users the option of keeping message it they wish.
It remains to be seen, of course, how this very significant Snapchat update will be taken by loyal Snapchat users and what affect it will have, if any, on Snapchat’s struggle to keep users and stay relevant as Facebook and Instagram bear down on it.
Instagram’s growth is exploding, much to owner Facebook’s delight, having just weeks ago hit the 700-million-user plateau (just over 160 million users for Snapchat).
Instagram to the web?
Meanwhile, it is being reported Instagram continues to make addition updates of its own.
Everyone’s favorite image-sharing app appears to be rolling out changes which will allow users to upload images from its web client; load pictures from laptops and desktops.
No formal announcement of the update has been made and you may not see this new functionality yet. It takes a while to roll out new features like this across the globe. But the update, which will help users with limited mobile reception, is hugely significant and takes Instagram finally out of the mobile-only realm.
Giving users the ability to share photos on its web client will exponentially increase Instagram’s use world-wide as well as its usefulness for digital marketeers.
Instagram could make some even better, relatively simple advancements and become truly among the very most effective social networks for digital marketing.
Posting a photo or video to Instagram creates all kinds of opportunities to be creative. Users can let their inner artist run wild. It’s cross-platform opportunities are signficant, too. An Instagram post can immediately also be posted to Facebook (of course), Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Swarm (Foursquare) and with just a touch more effort (manually) to even more networks (GooglePlus, Pinterest for example).
One really big – and seemingly simple – enhancement would be to make added web links live within the regular app.
Oh sure, web links can be added to Instagram posts (along with your million hashtags) but they aren’t live within the app. They do become live links when one shares the same Instagram post to the other networks. But they remain simply a dead bunch of shortlink jumbled characters within the Instagram app itself.
The network took a huge leap forward in 2015 when it added to its app the ability to switch back and forth between accounts within the app.
A few more simple tweaks would be useful, too.
And how about resharing, reposting friends’ photos within the app? Would that be so hard? You can, of course, repost your friends’ photos but you need a separate app for that. Seems silly not to have resharing within the Instagram app itself.