Snapchat Introduces Custom Stories

You may have heard about Snapchat but not quite sure what it is and why it has taken the millennial generation by a storm…

Snapchat is a photo and video–messaging app. The appeal, once you take a photo or video, it will last for only 24 hours, creating urgency.

Recently, Snapchat added custom stories as it continues to step up its efforts to compete with Facebook and Instagram. The effort comes after Facebook-owned Instagram replicated more of Snapchat’s features by adding face filters or what many people call, agmented reality.

Instagram launched its own Stories feature last August, which quickly became popular. In April, Instagram said its Stories outnumbered the many daily users for Snapchat. As of April, Instagram has more than 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 166 million daily active users. Facebook also initiated a duplicate Stories feature on its flagship platform in late March, and now offers similar features on Messenger and WhatsApp.


So what are custom stories anyway?

Direct contacts or invited users can create custom Stories within a global and geofenced area. Stories are photo and video posts that are shared by users. The user selects who can add to the Story and who can view it. Users can choose to “geofence” the Story around a specific location (about a block radius) to allow those within the geofence to add or view the Story. These new custom Stories operate just like regular Snapchat Stories, but will disappear completely if the creator deletes the Story or if no one within the group adds any updates for 24 hours. Stories can now be customized around a specific event. Can you imagine the possibilities for marketers?


How to use:

To create a custom Story, tap the “Create Story” icon in the top right corner of the Stories page. Name the Story, invite a specific list of friends or invite users based on their location, regardless of where in the world they live. With non-geofenced custom Stories, when you set one up you invite the specific people you want to be able to see and contribute to it. To contribute once you’ve joined a custom Story, look for it under the “My Story” line item in your friends list. Users can create up to three custom Stories of their own, but can join in a limitless number of those created by others.


Other recent Snapchat developments:

In addition to Snapchat’s recent new features, snaps will no longer have a time limit and added editing tools including the ability to draw with emojis or delete an object in a photo. Snapchat has also added 3D filters and made Stories searchable. Strategically, the key factor about custom Stories is that they could entice people to come together for big events and encourage those invited to share Stories. The company faces pressure to increase its user base and the time they spend using Snapchat. “If you want to be a creative company, you have to be comfortable with and basically enjoy the fact the people copy your stuff,” said Snap CEO Evan Spiegal.