Snapchat has launched an initial test of replies to Spotlight clips, providing another way to engage with its TikTok-like short-form video feed.
As you can see in this example, some users are now able to reply directly to a Spotlight video, with the text comments then displayed on the clip (if approved by the creator).
Which is a significant shift for Snapchat, given its focus on more private, intimate connections – though users will have full control over the display, or not, of comments.
As reported by Axios:
“Similar to the replies feature in its Stories product, [Spotlight] replies will only public if the creator wants them to be. The creator will have the ability to decide which replies are public, and can reject or accept comments in batches to make public.”
According to Axios, commenting has been one of the most requested updates for Spotlight, which, like all short-form video options, has seen a big rise in user interest in recent months.
As per Snap’s Q1 22 performance update, total user time spent on Spotlight has increased 230% year-over-year, while it’s also seen a 3.5x increase in the number of Spotlight submissions using AR Lenses or Creative Tools.
Which could be a key point of differentiation for Snap. Sure, Spotlight is a direct copy of TikTok, but Snap’s AR tools regularly generate viral traction, with the app’s nous for next-level features still well ahead of other apps.
If that keeps more users on Snap as a result, that’s a big win, and adding more engagement features, like comments, could be another key step in the feature’s development.
But it’ll be fairly limited to begin with. Snapchat will begin testing Spotlight replies with users in New Zealand from this week, before determining any future expansion. We’ll keep you updated on any progress