A major reason users love Snapchat is because their photo and video messages disappear after a few seconds. The app is all about living in the moment, documenting that moment and bringing followers along for the ride.
Of course there are exceptions to Snapchat's philosophy, like being able to save a snap (because sometimes that flower crown selfie is perfect for Instagram), or when having content remain for 24 hours in Stories.
But now Snapchat is releasing a new feature that will completely change how users save, share and view content on the app.
The new feature called Memories allows users to hold on to well, specific memories a bit longer. In fact they never really disappear at all. That's right, the ephemeral messaging app will not be so ephemeral after all.
Instead of just saving a snap to the user's camera roll, Memories allows the user to keep messages within the app itself. Once the user saves a photo or a video, they will be able to access them in Memories anytime by swiping up when in the Camera.
This means users can save all their vacation moments and then share them with others in person by typing in specific keywords like "Hawaii," for example. The user can also recycle old snaps to make a new story for occasions like an anniversary. These Stories will include a border to indicate that these snaps were taken more than a day ago.
It's hard to gauge at this moment how Memories will really impact Snapchat. On one hand it sounds like a cool feature that brings another way to share. And since social media users love to save their best selfies or memories, this feature allows them to do exactly that. Plus they still don't have to share with those they don't want to. Think of it as a backup to looking back on all the best snaps with the best filters from that moment in time.
Then again, Snapchat is built based on its immediacy. Once all about sharing in real time, it will now change into an app that lets users replay or look back on moments. But we already have those apps - Facebook and Instagram, among others - so is this in-app saving feature really necessary? Do we really need another Instagram app (with just better filters)? Adding this feature could take away from the rawness and realness of the platform.
Not to mention, do we really want our family members to see the more racy snaps we take when showing them a collection that could reveal a bit too much information? It seems like adding this feature is more for the older crowd who is used to saving images on other platforms.
A recent report from comScore found that Snapchat is becoming more popular among older millennials and adults. This fact alone may already start ruining the app for teen and college-age users, so Snapchat will have to be extra careful when catering to the older crowd if it doesn't want to lose its core user base.
Snapchat will start rolling out Memories "over the next month or so."