Snapchat has unveiled a new feature that takes away the in-the-moment appeal of the app.
“Memories” will let users save snaps that they take to a new camera roll hosted on the app’s servers. Users can then access these snaps at a later date to re-post them to Snapchat — #TBT style.
What’s more, Snapchat will let users access their phone’s camera roll so old photos can be posted to their Story. Previously, users could only send photos from the camera roll to specific users — and it took a few frustrating steps. The ability to access your camera roll is problematic, because one of Snapchat’s best features is forcing you to capture a moment “live” — you couldn’t dig into your history and cheat with old stuff. Restrictions matter in Snapchat, and they just threw out their biggest.
The new features mark significant shifts for Snapchat, who’s become wildly popular thanks to the short shelf life of photos. Of course, it’s always been possible to take a screenshot or to save your snaps to your own camera roll, but “Memories” marks the first time Snapchat is saving photos for you for a later date.
Personally, I can’t imagine wanting to see people’s #TBTs on Snapchat. We’ve all grown accustomed to Snapchat’s in-the-moment style. It’s the reason we post a lot of material there — because we know it won’t last. To start shedding that appeal might be a risky move, because the app is slowly but surely starting to look like Instagram, Facebook, TimeHop, etc.
It sounds like Snapchat is trying to replace your phone’s built-in camera roll by offering their own. For many users Snapchat has already replaced the built-in Camera app, so “Memories” is another step toward photo domination.
Snapchat is rolling “Memories” out to California first before it goes worldwide. You’ll receive a chat message from Snapchat once it’s ready for your use.