Instagram copied Snapchat's Stories format with posts that disappear in 24 hours. Now, Snapchat is upping the ante by taking Stories everywhere.

  • Snapchat is extending Stories, the ephemeral posts that disappear within 24 hours, beyond its own app.
  • Starting today, users will be able to create and share Stories directly on third-party partner apps including Tinder, Houseparty and Adventure Aide.
  • Snapchat is also extending Bitmoji to other third-party apps, including Venmo and Fitbit.
  • This is a bid by the company to extend Stories beyond its own app, and thus make its camera more ubiquitous.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Snapchat pioneered Stories, the popular feature where users create and share ephemeral posts that disappear within 24 hours. And now, it’s taking them everywhere.

Starting today, users will be able to create and share Stories within Snapchat and also on third-party partner apps including Tinder, Houseparty and Adventure Aide. The company made the announcement at its first Partner Summit for content and developer partners in Los Angeles.

“Over the past few years, many of our partners have been telling us they wanted to bring Stories to their services,” said Ben Schwerin, VP of Partnerships at Snap. “With App Stories, Snapchatters can post to a custom Story in any partner app, right from their Snapchat camera.”

“App Stories” is a part of a broader update to Snap Kit, which Snapchat launched in June 2018 as a way to enable partners and developers to integrate some of Snapchat’s most popular features into their own apps. More than 200 apps have integrated with Snap Kit to date.

Snapchat is making its camera more ubiquitous

The move is an interesting play by Snapchat, whose growth was significantly curtailed after Facebook cloned the Stories format – bringing it over first to Instagram and eventually the Facebook app. Snapchat has 186 million daily users, compared to the 500 million using Instagram Stories alone. Snap has also been plagued by a series of other issues, including a botched redesign, stalling user growth, executive churn, and disappointing financial results recently.

The idea with App Stories is to extend the utility of the Snap camera, according to a Snap spokesperson. Snap, after all, is a self-proclaimed camera company. But what that means has remained largely unclear, until now. This is a bid by the company to extend Stories beyond its own app, and thus make its camera more ubiquitous – a marked difference from the walled gardens of Facebook and Google.

The goal is to allow developers to tap into Snapchat’s already engaged audience to enrich the experiences on their own apps. Snapchat users open the app an average of 20 times a day, creating 3 billion Snaps daily. So the company hopes that behaviour will easily port over to other partner apps.

Snap is taking some of its most popular features to third-parties like Tinder and Fitbit

Tinder, for example, is giving its users the chance to update their profiles more often with personal, engaging Stories. Snapchat users that also have Tinder on their phones will be able to send their Stories to Tinder directly by clicking the new “My Tinder Story” option.

Additionally, Snapchat is also expanding “Creative Kit,” through which developers can build custom, branded stickers, filters and links that can be shared from their own apps right into the Snap Camera. Users can select a show they’re watching on Netflix, for example, and seamlessly add its custom art to their Story or send it to friends on Snapchat.

Snapchat is also rolling out Bitmoji, its interactive cartoon avatars, to other third-party apps including Venmo and Fitbit through Bitmoji.

“Bitmoji makes it easier to express how you’re feeling, who you love, or even what team you’re rooting for,” said Schwerin. “For the first time, Bitmojis are moving off of the phone and onto your wrist.”

Lastly, the company plans to launch the Snap Audience Network, which will extend its full-screen mobile ad format, Snap Ads, across other third-party apps, offering advertisers ways to reach audiences outside the Snapchat app. Other platforms including Facebook and Twitter already have similar plays.

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