Snapchat is adding a feature to its app. The new feature being added to Snapchat, called Map Explore, brings an interesting new way to keep up with (and locate) your friends.
The Verge is reporting that Map Explore has now been introduced. Map Explore, according to The Verge, lets users find out where their friends are, see where some breaking news is happening, and more.
Snap Map, the maps feature on Snapchat, was introduced last summer. With Snap Map, people could move around and see Snaps that were being posted in various locations. This included being able to see your friends’ Snaps on the map. Though Snap Map is a popular feature, it’s important to point out that users can choose to hide their location. So if you’re someone with privacy concerns (and who might not have gotten around to noticing Snap Map yet), no worries—location sharing is optional with Snapchat’s map feature.
If you don’t mind sharing your location and checking out where other people are, Map Explore could improve your Snapchat experience. With Map Explore, The Verge explains, you can be alerted to what’s happening on the Snap Map. Snap is quoted as saying that this update was introduced because users previously had to search around to find things. This update will make it easier to find interesting Snaps instead of wondering where to look. Alerts about updates will be based on your friends doing something (posting a Snap or a Story, for instance) with location turned on. After 8 hours of inactivity, their location won’t be shown on the map anymore.
Breaking news and other interesting happenings will also be easier to find. Users will be able to get updates about Our Story content. This means you’ll be able to find out quickly when interesting things are happening anywhere in the world (as long as someone is Snapping it).
The Verge mentions that the new update will be arriving for people through the coming weeks. So if you don’t have the update yet, don’t panic—it will be coming soon.
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.
If you’ve ever wished you could create your own filter on Snapchat, your time has come. Snapchat will now let you pay to make your own Snapchat lenses.
If you’ve used Snapchat, you’ve certainly used some of their lenses. Lenses have given Snapchat users cat ears, large and sparkly eyes, and of course, the infamous puppy ears and flower crowns. Now you can customize your own for any occasion. Using either their website or the iOS app, you can choose from one of the many premade lenses and customize it. Customization mostly focuses on the displayed text. You can choose what the text says, and you can choose from many different fonts and colors.
You then further your customization by setting up how long the lens will last and where the lens will be active. Your location can be set in a certain area, and you can drag the edges of the active area to make the area as large as you want. The larger the active area and the longer the lens is available, the more it costs. For instance, making your lens available for just one day in an extremely small area could only cost $5. As you expand the “fence” for your lens, you can watch the price go up on the screen, making it easier to stay within a budget.
There are currently over a hundred different lenses to choose from. They’re sorted into five categories right now: Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Weddings, Celebration, and Greatest Hits. The Valentine’s Day special category features a lot of hearts and pink tones. In the Greatest Hits section, you can find popular past lenses, like the dancing grandma, various different flower crowns, and colorful sunglasses. And under the Weddings category, you can find some past lenses with tweaks like hanging lights across the top and birdcage veils attached to flower crowns.
Being able to customize aspects of Snapchat isn’t a new concept—you can already create your own custom filters, which works in a similar way. You can choose from borders and text, as well as add Bitmoji characters, then set up when and where the filter will work.
Customizing lenses, though, gives Snapchat users even more freedom to take personalized Snaps during special occasions. Lenses are an incredibly popular part of Snapchat, so it only makes sense to give users the opportunity to customize them for a fee.
Mashable points out that you should make sure to buy your lens at least three hours before an event. This way it will be sure to be ready in time. If you have an event coming up, take a look at Snapchat’s website or try out lens customization in iOS!
(Featured image: Snapchat)
The Snapchat app has been redesigned in an update released in some select countries, and so far, the news isn’t great. In fact, it’s pretty bad. TechCrunch is reporting that 83% of the App Store reviews have a negative response to the new update.
TechCrunch also notes the most used words in those reviews include “new update” and “please fix.” Some users are asking how to go back to a previous version (Snapchat Support says they can’t), and overall, users of the new update are suggesting the redesign is unnecessarily confusing.
The Independent notes that one major complaint among users is how Stories are now laid out. If you want to see your friends’ Stories, you must now swipe right (instead of left) and find the Stories jumbled in with your messages. And TechCrunch adds that autoplaying Stories is no longer possible in the update. Instead, users have to tap to get to the next Stories, adding extra (and seemingly unnecessary) steps to the process.
Users are letting their feelings out in more areas than just the App Store. The Twitter hashtag #snapchatupdate is full of Tweets about the update. Some people are tweeting about ways people with the update might be able to revert to a previous version. Others are venting their frustration, while some are cracking jokes and mocking Snap’s redesign decision. @WakehamNick jokes, “User: I believe that the Apple Watch has the worst user interface. Snapchat: hold my beer. #snapchatupdate,” while @SheriannemilleR warns, “DONT UPDATE YOUR SNAPCHAT APP. DONT DO IT. ITS HORRIBLE. #snapchatupdate.”
Facebook is also filled with posts about the update. Many users are sharing articles with negative responses to the update. Even more users are discussing ways to remove the update, and like Twitter users, they’re begging Snap to change back to the previous design. There are, of course, some positive responses to the update—but these comments are few when compared to the negative reviews.
Right now the update is only in a few countries, including U.K., Australia, and Canada, says TechCrunch. It’s not currently available in the U.S., which means there could potentially be time for Snap to listen to its users and change back. Unfortunately, there’s no suggestion this will happen—in fact, they’ve addressed the response by suggesting users just need time to get used to the change and come to enjoy it.
In any case, when this update does come to the U.S. and other countries, the overwhelmingly negative response from this past week gives many people the chance to decide whether to install the new update.
In case you missed it, the iPhone X has been in the news pretty much every day recently, and so has iOS 11, the new update for the iPhone operating system. iOS 11 has a number of new and updated features, but the one a lot of people are talking about is its easy-to-use screen recording feature. It was possible to record your iPhone’s screen before, but iOS 11 makes it much easier to do—a fact that has had some people excited, but some people pretty worried.
Being able to record the phone screen on an iPhone can come in handy for many different reasons. Some people may want to record themselves going through a process on the phone so they can upload it and teach people how to do something. Others might want to use it for viral video purposes. Or someone might want to record themselves doing something big, like sending an important message and getting a reply, applying for college, or anything that might be a memorable moment. People have had plenty of reasons to record their phone screens in the past, and iOS 11 just makes it much more accessible.
Mixed in with the positive response, though, was a huge concern: what would happen on Snapchat? Rumors began to swirl that the screen recording feature would allow iPhone users to record peoples’ Snaps secretly, bypassing Snapchat’s feature that tells users when their photos have been saved and who saved them. One huge draw for Snapchat is that the photos aren’t permanent, and if someone screenshots something, the original photo-taker can know who saved their photo onto their device. The idea of people being able to save photos and videos without identifying themselves had some people panicked.
It seems there’s good news and bad news. Fortunately, it’s been shown that Snapchat does, in fact, notify users when their direct messages have been recorded with the iPhone’s screen recorder. It doesn’t specify how it was saved, but it does still say that the Snap has been screenshotted. However, MacRumors tested the screen recorder on Snapchat and found that while it does notify for private messages, it doesn’t quite work with Stories, so be aware that you might not know if your Stories are being recorded.
Also important to note is that MacRumors also tested on Instagram Direct—a feature of Instagram that lets users send non-permanent photos—and the screen recorder did not alert the other user that a screenshot had been taken of their content. So while the issue with Snapchat is not much of a concern, be careful with your Instagram Direct messages until more is known about their screenshot alerts.
These days more and more platforms are giving its users fun effects for their photos. At this point, three particularly popular social media apps allow us to overlay our faces with silly filters, maybe letting us turn ourselves into cats or football players or doe-eyed woodland creatures. Snapchat is the obvious app of the three, but Instagram and Facebook are in the face filter arena, as well. Each app has its own special face filters, so let’s look at what these three apps have to offer.
Snapchat, the popular photo-based app, is likely the first app you think of when you see a picture of someone with dog ears or a brightly glowing flower crown. Snapchat centers on being able to send your pictures to your friends, add them to a group message, save them to your photo story, and more, all without any real permanence. Photos on Snapchat, unless you remember to save them to your private memories, only last for a brief amount of time before they are gone forever. Here’s what you need to know about their face filters:
- Snapchat adds and removes face filters regularly
- Filters are often chosen based on current events and seasons
- Some face filters can be placed on multiple people within a photo
- Some filters have sound or music
- Filters often include full-body animations that place your face in the appropriate location, usually incorporating music
- Snapchat filters can be recorded as video, and they often have voice changers attached
- Like other photos you take on Snapchat, you can save them to your Memories and you device
Instagram is best known for letting users apply toned and/or textured filters to photos that have already been captured. But earlier this year, Instagram added special features to its in-app camera, allowing us to take pics with silly or cute face filters. Here’s what you can expect from Instagram’ face filters:
- Instagram adds new face filters often, though not as often as Snapchat
- Many of Instagram’s face filters are styled like doodles
- Some filters can be placed on multiple people within a photo
- Instagram’s face filters can be used while also using their other features, like Boomerang (a looping video) and Rewind (a video played in reverse)
- After adding a face filtered photo (or any other photo) to your story, you can add linkable hashtags on top
Facebook joined in on the face filter fun, as well. After I found out Facebook added face filters, I realized Facebook might just take over my life, considering they seem to be integrating a little bit of everything into their app. Facebook’s in-app camera has several special features, but personally, I find their face filters to be the best reason to open their camera and snap a photo. Here’s what to look for when you’re checking out Facebook’s face filters:
- Facebook already has a large number of face filters available
- Many (though not all) of Facebook’s face filters are bulkier than Instagram or Snapchat filters, covering much of the face instead of adding small details
- Facebook features several pop culture filters (like the current Game of Thrones and Justice League filters)
- Some of Facebook’s face filters include sound
- Some filters include a voice changer
- Video can be recorded while using Facebook’s face filters
All three apps are pretty similar. They all allow video recording while using face filters, they all have quite a few face filter options, they all offer some sounds, and even some of their filters look alike. But each app has its own feel and special features. Snapchat offers new filters so regularly that it would be difficult to become bored with their offerings. Instagram has options like Boomerang available. And Facebook has cool branded filters (one of which can make you look like a white walker). Try them all out and see what you think—then you might decide which you like best, or you might do what I’ve done and just use all three.