“The fundamental premise of Snapchat is that it’s better and more fun if you delete everything except the things that are really important and you want to save.”
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said that during an interview in 2013.
Fast forward to 2016, and Snapchat wants to replace your phone’s camera roll with a new feature called Memories. Swipe down from the camera in Snapchat’s app, and you’ll have a gallery of old snaps to reminisce about and re-share.
Snapchat has always been about default deletion and ephemerality — nothing lasts in the app longer than 24 hours. So it may seem odd that you can now save photos and videos to look back on.
But as Spiegel said three years ago, Memories at its core is an acknowledgment that everything doesn’t deserve to disappear.
Think about it: no one wants everything they share (even on Snapchat) to disappear instantly. It’s why people screenshot snaps and save them to their camera roll. Some moments we just want to save.
I expect Memories to radically change how people use Snapchat. A Snapchat Story has traditionally been a window into the last 24 hours of your life. But now that you can re-post old snaps to your Story, it’s going to become a window into your life, period.
And now that Snapchat lets you consider and curate the past, it’s more of a competitor to Instagram and Facebook than ever before.
At the end of the day, the existence of Memories should mean that people use Snapchat more because they can have the best of both worlds — ephemerality and nostalgia.