Snapchat Adding New ‘Map Explore’ Feature

Snapchat Adding New ‘Map Explore’ Feature

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 in the News

Snapchat in the News

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

Animated stickers can now be placed on your snaps, thanks to the new GIPHY feature. This feature is similar to the Instagram update I wrote about a little over a month ago.

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.

Snapchat’s Redesign Is Not Going Over Well

Snapchat’s Redesign Is Not Going Over Well

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.

Snapchat Joins Other Platforms in Letting You Look Back at 2017

Snapchat Joins Other Platforms in Letting You Look Back at 2017

If you’ve spent much time on Snapchat this year, you might have quite a few photos and videos saved in your Memories. If so, you can now look back on 2017 with Snap’s new feature called “A Look Back at 2017.”

With 2018 about to kick off, some platforms are giving their users a way to look back at the past year. Perhaps most well-known is Facebook’s feature called “Year in Review.” This feature lets users share a video that collects fun or important moments from the past year. Facebook users can edit their videos before sharing to make sure some of the best content is included. In my experience, my feed becomes flooded with videos from people looking back on the year, and it’s a lot of fun.

Instagram users can also wrap up their year with the popular #bestnine2017 hashtag. Users share a photo collage of the nine most popular shots they posted over the year. You can’t actually create this photo directly inside the Instagram app, but you can use a website like 2017bestnine to generate your collage of popular photos, or you can do it yourself with Instagram’s Layouts app.

Snapchat’s feature is interesting when you consider what previously made the app so appealing—its disappearing images. Many people were drawn to the app because Snaps quickly disappeared, never to be seen again. Since that time, though, Snapchat’s popularity has continued even as they’ve added the ability to save your Snaps into your Memories and let people view your Snaps for much longer than before. Their year-end review feature further shows that having Snaps disappear forever is not necessarily as important anymore. You can not only save your images, but you can collect them all together and show others your Snaps from across the year.

To share your end-of-the-year Snap review, simply open the app, go to your Memories, and look for the “A Look Back at 2017” feature. Then follow the prompts. The Verge mentions that if you don’t see this feature, it might be because you don’t have enough Snaps saved to your Memories to generate your year-end review. But if you do, you can take yourself and your friends back to your past Snaps to recall the fun times you’ve had in 2017 (and to reminisce about your favorite face filters).

Happy 2018!