Snap will let users share Stories outside Snapchat with a new web player
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Snap’s latest effort to fight back against slow growth and the ever-looming threat of Facebook is to bring its flagship Stories product to the web. That way, both Snapchat users and those who don’t have accounts on the mobile app can view the photos and videos.
Snap said that starting in the next few weeks, in tandem with a broader rollout of its redesigned mobile app, it will add a new share option to Story tiles in its Discover section. From there, users will be able to share a link via text or email outside of the main Snapchat app. To view these Stories on the web, Snap is launching a desktop web viewer accessible over at Snapchat.com. The company says users in Australia and Canada, both of which have broader access to the redesigned app, can start sharing on the web today.
Snap is being careful to clarify that this share option will only work for three varieties of public Stories: its Official Stories, Our Stories, and Search Stories. Official Stories are those that are created by verified Snapchat accounts, like those of media, sports, and entertainment organizations, as well as celebrities. Those Stories will remain available on the web for up to 30 days, Snap says. Users can share that content by finding it in the Discover section of the app, and then pressing and holding down on the tile to pull up the new share option.
Our Stories are the collaborative, crowdsourced variety of Stories that Snap launched back in 2014 and let users publicly contribute snaps to a shared group that anyone on the app can view. Snap says that, similar to the situation on mobile, Our Stories will be available on the web for up to 24 hours before disappearing. Search Stories is another way to access public, user-generated snaps by searching keywords, and Snap says those will be available on the web for 30 days, just like Official Stories.
Snap has been struggling of late with poor user growth and a slumping stock price as it tries to keep Snapchat one step ahead of Instagram. The Facebook-owned social media platform copied its Stories product and has in short order grown it into a far more successful product than the entirety of Snapchat. CEO Evan Spiegel has responded with new measures to keep Snapchat agile, most prominently the massive redesign effort the company underwent this past fall that’s just now being rolled out to users worldwide.
The goal is to make Snapchat easier to use and also to entice more people to sign up, and that means exposing non-users to Snapchat content. So with the introduction of Stories on the web — even in the limited form we’re starting with now — it’s clear Spiegel sees the future of Snap as growing beyond its constraints on mobile.
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