Keeping up their pace of adding new features and tools, Snapchat's launching two new updates this week, one of which could fundamentally change the Snap process.
First off, there's a new option called 'Tint Brush' which enables users to change the color of objects within a Snap.
As you can see, the functionality is fairly straightforward - you use the brush option within the scissors menu, select the color you want to add, then highlight the area on the image you want to change. The method is similar to their Magic Eraser and Backdrops options which use the same process to highlight sections of a Snap for editing.
Snapchat says the tool will enable users to 'change the color of your hair, shirt or any other object', and you can imagine that there'll be a range of ways in which the tool could be used to spice up your Snaps in a new way.
Nothing ground-breaking, of course, but yet another creative option for Snaps - of which they've added a heap in recent months.
But the second new element is far more significant - Snapchat's also adding in the capacity to record up to six snaps at once, in continuous flow.
As you can see from the above GIF, as you record, the Snaps are divided into their normal 10 second slots, but they show up seamlessly. You can then go in and edit or remove any Snap from the sequence, or you can post them all at once, effectively enabling 60-second Snaps.
That's a major upgrade from the current 10 second limit, and will give creators more freedom to share longer, more contextual Snaps - while also giving marketers more capacity to provide more variations of Snap content, including longer interview-type posts or 'how-to' sequences.
You can also add creative tools to each individual Snap within the sequence, as you would normally, and as noted, you can delete any Snap from within the group, though you can't change the order in which they appear.
To record longer Snaps, all you need to do is hold down the record button beyond the first Snap.
Of course, Spectacles users have been able to record 30 second Snaps through similar process for some time, but that's limited only to Spectacles users, and even then, only those who know how to do it (it's not a functionality Snap has actively publicized). The addition of longer Snaps could fundamentally change how people approach the app - definitely, it looks much better, much more helpful and functional as a process, but part of Snap's appeal has always been its limitation, it's restrictive, even limited processes which force users to think of creative ways to use them.
Similar to Twitter extending tweets, extending Snaps could change the way users approach the process - it may not be as significant a change as extending the 140 character limit might be (if Twitter were to ever do that), but it is a major change.
Will users like seeing minute long rants and sequences on Snapchat?
Really, it'll come down to experimentation, which is especially true for marketers looking to make best use of the option. With the capacity to add longer Snaps, the temptation will be to use that to full extent and share longer form material with your audience. But you'll need to watch your response rates - users may not like longer Snaps, as it is a significant change to what they're used to.
Also, it's worth noting the relative impact this could have on Snapchat video view rates - one person watching a 60-second sequence will count as 6 video views, so the overall volume of video views on Snapchat may end up looking better than it actually is.
In other Snap news, The Next Web is reporting that you can now purchase Spectacles on Amazon, if you're looking to get your hands on a pair.
You can also order them through the Spectacles website, of course, but the shipping is faster via Amazon.
The company's working to add in new tools and options to boost its standing, with its second quarter earnings announcement coming up on August 10th. The pressure from Facebook is mounting, and Snap Inc. has a way to go to assure investors that it's a good bet - while few doubt the company's innovative capacity, it'll be interesting to see just how much of an impact Facebook's efforts are having on user growth, and how the market responds in the coming months.
Extended Snap recording is coming to iOS initially, with Android to follow soon, while Tint Brush is coming to both iOS and Android this week.