- Snapchat's latest update has several editing features that let people add more flair to photos before sharing them, according to TechCrunch. The Paperclip feature lets users share links to external websites, reversing the camera app's policy against doing just that. Previously only ad campaigns and content on Discover, the app's section dedicated to publishers, could include links.
- Snapchat also added backdrops that let users cut out an object from a smartphone picture to use as an overlay against colorful or festive pattern. Snapchat provides several preset designs such as strawberries, lightning bolts and emojis.
- The new voice filters remix the sound of voices in a video, unlike previous versions of the app that only had voice filters as part of its visual augmented reality lenses. The new features were rolled out globally on iOS and Android.
Snapchat's link-sharing feature, Paperclip, will likely help marketers although the company technically doesn't let consumers use its products for commercial purposes without direct permission. Ideally, users would be able to drive sales on third-party websites or through affiliate links. Before Paperclip, the only way users could add links was by buying an ad. The new feature could help marketers gain more organic traffic, while media companies have a high-traffic way to direct users to their sites. Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram allows verified users to include links to external websites in posts, but the feature isn't yet available to all users. Now that Snapchat has changed its policy, Instagram will likely follow suit soon to keep up.
The link feature was one of the most requested additions, especially from social influencers, The Street reported. Third-party links have helped give Instagram's Stories, whose user base is now more than 250 million, an edge over Snapchat, which recently reported 166 million daily active users. Snapchat has been releasing new features in the past few months, including Snap Map and a custom geofilter creator, as it faces competition from Instagram and waning confidence from investors. Analysts' and investors' concerns have also put pressure on Snap's stock, which has fallen 28.6% since the company went public in March.
The voice filters and backdrops, on the other hand, are fresh ways for Snapchat to boost its engagement with younger demographics who enjoy playing with the app as they interact with other people. They'll likely help Snap retain its current crop of influencers and may even help attract new ones via cross-promoted content across several platforms, which boost influencers' presence and capabilities on the channel.