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Snapchat Introduces Our Story Feature

Photo Messaging App Takes Step Towards Profits

Snapchat has been pushing forward at a breakneck pace this year. Following investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer’s decision to invest in the ephemeral photo and text messaging service at a valuation of around $10 billion earlier this week, the service has introduced a new ‘Our Story’ feature to the app.

Despite having no revenue as of yet, the decision by one of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture capital firms puts Snapchat among the most valuable apps on the market – making their decision to reject a $3 billion buy-out by Facebook last year as highly prescient and validating predictions made earlier this year.

The Our Story feature has been tested at the Electric Daisy Carnival, the World Cup in Brazil, and the Lollapalooza music festival. While initially it could only be viewed by attendees of those events, Snapchat has expanded the feature so that anyone can view snaps submitted from particular events.

The service works by using the location function of a user’s phone to ensure that they are actually at the event, and then allowing them to post snaps to the event’s Our Story in the same way that they would to their own My Story. While it’s unclear exactly how submitted pictures and videos are vetted for publishing on the event’s stream, we can assume that there is some kind of oversight; the stream of the recent Electric Zoo event contained no inappropriate material, which considering the fact that it was put together by a few thousand twenty-somethings at a rave means that there must be a fairly heroic editorial team behind the scenes.

The update seems to be the next stage in Snapchat’s gradual crawl towards profitability. It’s easy to see how the insertion of ads into these event streams could happen, or how the events themselves could pay to be broadcast to Snapchat users. The company has also allegedly been in talks regarding a new service called Snapchat Discovery, which would deliver content from media outlets to users.

The Our Story update seems to be popular, with over 350 hours of snaps being submitted over the course of those events associated thus far. Considering that more people now in engage in the My Story feature than with the original user-to-user messaging service which forms the basis of the app, it’s a fair prediction that this new aspect will be a significant part of the app’s functionality going forward.

Even if the feature does garner the mass engagement which Snapchat has made itself know for (although not in too much detail – the company still refuses to release exact user data) it all still remains to be seen if it’s enough to push the app into profitability.

Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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Snapchat Introduces Our Story Feature Reviewed by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 02, 2014 Rating: 5
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