Snapchat has this week confirmed reports that users will soon be able to embed Snap content outside of the app itself.
As originally reported by Cheddar, Snap will enable users to share certain types of Stories outside of Snapchat through embeds or link shares. The option will be limited to public Stories appearing in Snapchat’s new Discover tab - though not all Stories will be shareable.
As reported by Marketing Land:
“Eligible Stories include Official Stories created by celebrities and influencers, Our Stories curated by Snapchat’s in-house team and Search Stories automatically cobbled together by Snapchat’s computers. Snapchat’s most premium Stories - its original shows and the Publisher Stories produced by media companies - will remain locked within Snapchat’s app.”
For those that are shareable, users will be able to distribute the content by holding down on the Story tile, bringing up a new ‘Share Story’ option.
From there, you’ll be presented with your various sharing options – the link provided can also be shared on other networks, including Twitter and Facebook, or embedded on your own website.
When people click on a Snapchat link, the content will play on Snapchat’s site – here’s an example of how it looks on desktop, with a ‘Download Snapchat’ button in the top left of screen.
Stories viewed on Twitter will be viewable on platform, while those shared on Facebook will open Snapchat’s site – similar to how Facebook treats YouTube links.
It’s the company’s latest effort to stimulate user growth and bring greater awareness to Snap content, which they hope will inspire more people to download the app and check out what’s on offer. The option will also make it more inviting for marketers to spend more time and effort on their Snap content, as it will be viewable on other platforms – but there are still some limitations on exactly how Snap’s links work.
As with Snapchat’s main app, embedded Snaps will still disappear after a certain amount of time. People will only be able to view Official Stories outside of Snapchat for 24 hours, while Our Stories and Search Stories content will be available for 30 days. So while you can embed Snap content for broader viewing, it may not be overly helpful for, say, news outlets adding context to their stories, or for those looking to create material which can be referred back to for a longer period of time. It’s early days though, and Snap may look to change this – while it makes sense within the wider ethos of the app, for embeds, disappearing content is probably not ideal.
The other detail of note is that embedded Snap content won’t include ads. Yet.
You’d expect, at some stage, Snap will be forced to re-evaluate, but as with the time restrictions, this may be something that goes hand-in-hand – though then again, communicating to users that their Snaps which appear in these Stories types will last forever may upset the applecart to a degree.
But then again, maybe not. Snap’s been slowly moving away from its ephemeral approach for some time, and usage rates don’t appear to have been impacted by that detail alone. Sure, the app’s growing slower, but that appears to be largely attributed to the growth of Instagram Stories, not Snap’s own innovations.
And speaking of Snap’s innovations, first reviews of their major app re-design have not been great.
The new update to Snapchat makes my brain hurts... if I wanted to watch a bunch of paid commercials I would turn on my TV. Time to switch over to instagram stories permanently #snapchat #snapchatupdate #instagram @Snapchat @snapchatsupport— j (@juliieeebaabyy) January 11, 2018
The redesigned app is now available to users in some markets, including Canada and Australia, and thus far, according to TechCrunch, 83% of App Store reviews for the update have been negative.
Challenging times for Ghostface Chillah and crew, for sure, though the addition of embeds will provide some additional appeal for businesses and creators in particular who are looking to get more out of their Snap efforts.