Do you use Snapchat? There seems to be this idea that unless you’re ‘one of the kidz’ you’ll struggle to understand how to use Snapchat. This seems like a shame because I quite like Snap’s current interface layout, however, it’s to be no more. Snapchat have outlined what’s to come in the new design – some of you might have already experienced it.
The biggest thing to note here is Snap’s emphasis on personal connections – taking a different step to Instagram Stories where you can share to the masses with ease. Your interactions with friends will now be kept in a feed separate to everything else. Everything else will appear in the new and improved Discover tab – this is where you’ll find brands using the platform.
What am I excited for? The fact that Snap are bringing back the auto-advance feature, but I fear there will be ads squashed between Snaps.
Why are they making these changes? To make the app more appealing and easier to use, I think. As I mentioned earlier, Snap is currently very popular amongst teens, but if the platform doesn’t want to die a death to Instagram they need to up their game and adapt. It’s unfortunate that everyone copied them, oh, speaking of that…
YouTube Jumps on the Stories Train
Who would have thought it, YouTube are the next ones to take a leaf out of Snapchat’s book. I’m pleased to announce though that YouTube are thankfully putting their own spin on the idea, rather than just straight up copying, which is never cool.
What’s the deal then? YouTube’s version of Stories will be called Reels, fitting isn’t it. What’s different about it? Reels are permanent. I repeat. Permanent. These are going to stick around unlike your usual 24 hour window.
Why? To give content creators a new way of showing their audience content which is perhaps not as polished as their main videos. Reels can last up to 30 seconds, and can have the usual works applied to them, text, filters, music, you get the gist.
I see this as an interesting direction from YouTube, and perhaps another attempt by them to keep people in app. Why hop over to Instagram Stories when you can view it all here? Will it take off though, that’s the question. Funny I should mention that…
Instagram want to keep users in the app
What was that I was just saying about YouTube wanting to keep users within the app? Oh, well it looks like Instagram want to do that too. It’s been a long time since Instagram was just a chronological feed full of beautiful picks, and the latest in Instagram’s range of features are tools within DMs. Direct Messages for any of you not down with the lingo.
These tools have been tested on some users earlier in the year, and are now rolling out to all. What’s new then? You can now reply to messages with a capture of your face, add stickers text and drawings – much like a Story. Something a little different to usual is the addition of split screen. Pretty cool but is it going to get that much use? Apparently a lot of people use Instagram DMs, a staggering 375 million users in fact, so I’m sure we’ll have some stats on the uptake of these new features from Instagram soon.