Snapchat is no longer completely ephemeral and has launched a new feature called Memories that lets users save old photos in a private archive they may choose to share later.
The fire and forget nature that Snapchat users love remains, only now users can save their favourite photos and videos and organise them as they like.
The move reflects Snapchat’s growing prominence as a social network and the fact that the app is a default camera for the platform’s millions of users worldwide.
Recently, Snapchat surpassed Twitter in terms of the number of daily users of the platform.
The Memories archive is searchable, using elements of machine learning to speed up discovery. For example, type in “dog” or “Hawaii” and the right photos will crop up.
Snapchat has also created a new narrative feature for your photos called Stories from Snaps that allows users to string a story together from their photos.
Users can also send Snaps from Memories to friends. A frame will appear around the photos to denote it’s a picture from the past rather than a new update.
“We realised that Snapchatters want to feel comfortable showing their Memories to friends while they’re hanging out together, so we made it easy to move Snaps and Stories to My Eyes Only — and avoid awkward moments when a friend stumbles upon a Snap meant just for you,” Snapchat said.
“Memories is backed up by Snapchat. We won’t back up any photos or videos from your Camera Roll, unless you use one to make a new Story or add it to My Eyes Only. In that case, we’ll back up only the photo or video that you used.”
Snapchat said it will be rolling out Memories selectively over the next month or so.
The reason for Snapchat’s rise among teenagers and college kids – many of whom liken Facebook to attending a family dinner party – was because they didn’t want their parents stalking them on social media.
But that could be about to change as older users are beginning to try out Snapchat for themselves.
According to comScore data, the percentage of 25- to 34-year-old smartphone users in the US who use Snapchat has risen from 5pc three years ago to 38pc in April 2016.
Even for smartphone users aged 35 years and older, Snapchat is no longer uncharted territory.
“From a business point of view, it is probably a good thing for Snapchat that its user base is slowly growing up,” said Statista’s Felix Richter.
“After all, potential advertisers like to target an audience that actually has money to spend.”
Ghost in the mirror image via Shutterstock