You may think of Snapchat — the quick, easy way to temporarily send your friends a funny picture, scandalous selfie, or that ironically captioned text book pic — as a supplement to your usual Facebook diet.
But as the company hurtles towards a $US1 billion valuation and sees 350 million snaps sent per day, it’s becoming a serious Facebook competitor.
And it just raised the stakes.
Today, the company rolls out a new feature called Snapchat Stories that allows you to create a compilation of photos taken in the last 24 hours that you can make visible to any of you friends. Goodbye, complete ephemerality. Hello, potential competitor to Facebook’s News Feed function.
When you create a “Story” (which you can do by tapping the new “My Story” button above the friends you want to send a snap to or with a shortcut button in the app’s camera), your friends can view all your added photos in chronological order, as you took them throughout the day.
Stories can be shared with multiple friends at once and once a Story is shared with you, you can click through it as many times as you want.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told The Verge that his stray from the reverse chronological norm of most social media feeds was very intentional.
“The last snap today will also be the beginning of tomorrow,” Spiegel says, “So there’s no pressure to compose a narrative.”
Spiegel also alluded to the fact that Snapchat Stories offer a much more natural way to share updates than Facebook because you don’t have to worry about building an online persona.
He wants Snapchat Stories to mirror the way that you would actually interact with friends in real life.
Both Android and iOS updates to the app are available today, so you can start playing around with stories yourself. For now, check out Snapchat’s promo video: