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Memories may seriously shake up the way we use Snapchat

Snapchat is introducing Memories, which will give users more control over content. But is this a good thing for an app built on immediacy?

Published onJuly 6, 2016

Better watch out. Your favorite transient social platform has a pretty big change coming to it. Snapchat is introducing a brand new feature called Memories, and it looks like it could radically alter the way we use the app.

Snapchat is an app built on immediacy. That its content is here in one moment and gone in the next has made it the perfect medium for people to share moments of their day. Whereas places like Instagram and Facebook seem to have something of a higher standard to broadcast your content, Snapchat lets you ‘narrowcast’ to a specific friend or group of friends on the fly. This encourages more personal content, some of which is no doubt salacious.

Latest Snapchat update brings redesigned Discover tab, improved navigation and more

With Memories, Snapchat is giving its users the ability to save, collate, and organize their snaps. You can even edit videos within the app, giving your content a more polished feel. You can also relegate apps to a password-protected “My eyes only” section, meaning you can even save and sort the aforementioned salacious content without worrying about handing your phone over to a friend.

On the one hand, this is pretty cool. It will likely raise the quality of content on Snapchat and give users more control over their creations. On the other hand, this stands to meaningfully alter the way people use Snapchat. One of the counter-intuitive cornerstones of user engagement is to elevate mediocre content. If everybody else is posting medium-quality content, then you’ll probably feel right at home adding your slightly-better content (in your opinion) to the mix.

One of the counter-intuitive cornerstones of user engagement is to elevate mediocre content.

Facebook has recently been experiencing trouble in this area. With the rise of polished, high quality content from professional publishers, reposts abound while original content fades. Facebook is becoming awash with lurkers, and one thing Snapchat did really well was obviate the concern that your postings weren’t up to par with your peers.

What do you think about Memories? It’s rolling out now to regions in California, but will soon see widespread adoption. Will this feature bring a new layer of freedom and creativity to the app, or will it be a shift that moves the app too far from its core principles? Let us know your opinion in the comments!

How to use Snapchat on Android