Snapchat is hanging in there. The service has been slipping downward, due in no small part to Facebook's repeated attempts to copy its core features, some of which have gone on to become even more successful than Snapchat itself.
As an attempt to recoup disinterested users, Snapchat is introducing a new feature called Lens Challenges. Users can join these challenges by uploading Snaps with a Lens that's themed to a particular song, dance, holiday, event, and more, Snapchat explains.
Snapchat Lens Challenges
One of the first challenges is centered around Gwen Stefani's version of "Jingle Bells," which users can sing along to and share. Other Lens Challenges are accessible on the Lens Explorer section, many of which are songs users can record themselves lip-synching to.
Snapchat designed the Gwen Stefani challenge itself, although others will be created by community members. Apart from that lip-synch Lens is a new one called "Disappear," courtesy of user Jye Trudinger. With Disappear, users are instructed to take two photos — one where they're present, and one where they're not — so as to make the subject disappear.
What's The Point Of These Lens Challenges?
It doesn't take a genius to realize that the Gwen Stefani Lens Challenge described above closely mimics another popular service, TikTok. In that app, users can pick a song then dance or lip-synch to it. Challenges are also a main part of TikTok, and they have been instrumental in the app's enormous success in recent months, especially since acquiring the also ultra-popular app Musical.ly. TikTok surpassed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in new downloads last month.
As TechCrunch reports, Snapchat hopes that by bringing Lens Challenges, creators can make their own challenges and engaged more users moving forward. If this happens, the service stands to earn more growth and user engagement, something it sorely needs after Facebook's copying fiasco.
Snapchat has been struggling this past year, which was marked by a number of missteps, including a redesign attempt that polarized users and declining user engagement and revenue per user, among a number of other things. In the third quarter of 2018, Snapchat lost 2 million users, although its user base is still up year-over-year. A chance to recover is still within reach.
Whether Lens Challenges will save Snapchat from becoming obsolete remains to be seen, but patterning a feature after TikTok is a smart move.
Will you be using Lens Challenges? Do you think they're just another gimmick that'll go away after a while? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!