Snapchat has been in the news for a number of different reasons this past week. Some news seems fun, while other news isn’t so great. Here’s what you might have missed from Snap!
Snaps can now include GIPHY gifs
Now when you’re posting a snap, you can tap on the stickers icon and search through animated stickers with a feature powered by popular GIF provider GIPHY. There are plenty of cute, fun, and interesting animated stickers to add, so you should be able to find something that adds a little flair to your snaps.
Snapchat redesign won’t be leaving, despite complaints
Snapchat’s recent redesign (which rolled out to some countries weeks ago and recently reached the US) is continuing to frustrate users. The redesign included mixing Stories in with peoples’ Snap messages, along with other changes, and people have not been happy about it. Unfortunately, no amount of negative feedback seems to be of use—Snap will not be reverting back to its previous design.
Snapchat users have vented their frustration in many ways. Conversation about the redesign on Twitter has revolved around how to avoid receiving the update and how to potentially switch back to an old version. A Change.org petition has been making the rounds, asking Snap to get rid of the new update. And too many jokes to count have been made at the expensive of Snap’s redesign; many Facebook news feeds have been peppered with sarcastic, funny memes about the frustrating new design.
Snap has now responded officially to the signers of the petition (and other annoyed users). Their response, unfortunately, is to tell users the update is here to stay. They do also mention that they’ll be releasing a new update that introduces tabs that make things a little more organized. However, the overall redesign won’t be going anywhere, no matter how irritated Snap users may be.
Did Kylie Jenner’s negative tweet cause Snap’s stock to drop?
Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, Kylie Jenner tweeted about Snapchat. On Thursday, Snap’s shares fell. Now people are questioning whether Jenner’s tweet led to the drop.
Kylie Jenner tweeted, “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” As of Friday morning, the tweet had over 60,000 retweets, hundreds of thousands of likes, and thousands of comments. Jenner has over 24 million followers on Twitter, and they quickly responded to her tweet.
Though Jenner soon wrote another tweet, saying, “still love you tho snap … my first love,” many news sites are speculating that her tweet led to Snap’s stock dropping. Business Insider reports that shares dropped by as much as 8.5%. Though there doesn’t seem to be confirmation that the tweet led to the drop, it does raise the question of how much of an effect a simple tweet can have.
Good news for Android users! Now Android devices have access to augmented reality stickers through the Motion Stills app.
For those who are not yet familiar with the feature, AR stickers are moving stickers that can be recorded and photographed in front of whatever your camera is pointing at, essentially inserting them into the scene. Depending on what device you have and what apps you use, you may have seen AR stickers before. Last year, Google Pixel and Pixel 2 owners had AR stickers rolled out to them for use in their phone’s camera. And the concept is similar to what you’ve probably already spotted if you use Snapchat regularly—Snap’s augmented reality Bitmoji stickers. These stickers in the Snapchat app let you insert your animated Bitmoji character into whatever scene your camera is capturing, taking photos and videos.
Now Google is giving more users the chance to use their AR stickers, instead of keeping them just for Pixel owners. However, the stickers available to everyone don’t work the same way they do on Pixel devices. The AR stickers for the Pixel use Google’s ARCore, their augmented reality tech. ARCore, according to Google, uses three main technologies for their AR: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation. This is, of course, just a basic view of ARCore—there’s a lot more that goes into its tech. But what’s most important to note is that the AR stickers on Pixel devices are perhaps higher tech and more realistically integrated than the AR stickers coming out for everyone.
The AR stickers in the Motion Stills app use some more old school tech—your phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer. You can set one of these stickers on a horizontal surface and then do things like take photos and videos, as well as make GIFs, then share them with your friends. Some of the stickers currently available to use include a dinosaur, alien, and robot. To check them out for yourself, download the Motion Stills app from the Play store!
Kids these days and their InstaSnaps and their ChatGrams. Get off my lawn!
I’m just kidding. You can stay on my lawn.
But technology moves fast, and keeping up can eventually get overwhelming. Every person comes to a point in their life (some sooner than others) when they no longer get on board with every new app. Maybe you feel like apps come along every day, and you can afford to miss a few. Maybe you want to wait and see which ones are still around in a year, and then you’ll get on board. And then BAM! Overnight, you become the “old man yells at cloud” headline from the Simpsons.
For me, that app was Snapchat. I had too many social media accounts and was not about to sign up for another. Getting left behind by Snapchat made me feel out of the loop though, so Instagram Stories introduced a nice compromise: a new use for a familiar platform.
I’m not the only one who feels that way: Instagram seems to have taken a sizable chunk of Snapchat’s demographic: According to Business Insider, Instagram Stories reported 250 million daily uses in June, versus 166 million daily uses for Snapchat last quarter.
Some features I enjoy:
Boomerang lets you make a gif (short video on a continuous loop).
Rewind plays your gif in reverse.
Selfie Stickers lets you make stickers with your own face. Meaning you aren’t limited to a preset selection of stickers or emojis. The sky (or your face) is the limit!
My friends are all on Instagram. Only a few are on SnapChat. Social media is only as good as your network.
Story settings allow you to choose who gets to see your stories, even among your friends.
Visit this how-to from the Verge to get the most out of Instagram Stories.
Wait a minute: why would I want to post something that disappears?
Snaps and Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours (although you can pin them to your profile if you want to keep them up). This might seem shady, like it’s only meant for illicit material—but a pic doesn’t have to be dirty need an expiration date.
Oversharing on the internet is a major issue, and setting some of your content to eventually expire could be safer than having everything you ever posted up forever. Of course, someone could still screenshot whatever you post, but the window for that is much shorter.
So if you’ve become an old person overnight, don’t fret. Instagram has become a two-for-one social media platform with the kind of easy-to-use interface and fun features that make it perfect for everyone.
Do you like Instagram stories, or do you prefer Snapchat? What are your favorite features of each, and why? Tweet at me!