Snapchat Adds Memories and Explore Layers to Snap Map

Snapchat has added two layers to the Snap Map for users called Memories and Explore. Announced earlier this year, Layers bring more interactivity to the Map.

Now, the Memories layer will show you old Snapchats that you sent from particular places. Memories are private and only available to the individual user — you can’t see friends’ memories.

The Explore layer reimagines the heat map, which shows activity by relative volume on the Snap Map. You can tap on highlighted regions to see public photos and videos submitted by Snapchat users around the world.

New Snapchat Scan Feature Can Detect Clothes, Plants, Wine, and More

Snap released a new augmented reality feature on Thursday. Called Scan, it can detect objects in the physical world.

This latest version of Scan, which Snap previewed at its developer conference earlier this year, adds detection for dog breeds, plants, wine, cars, and food nutrition info. The majority of Scan’s features are powered by other companies; the app Vivino is behind the wine scanning feature, for example. Soon Allrecipes will power a Scan feature that suggests recipes to make based on a specific food ingredient. Snap plans to keep adding more abilities to Scan over time using a mix of outside partners and what it builds in-house.

Snapchat Crashing for iPhone Users But Fix on Way

Snapchat users on iPhone have started to notice the popular app crashing repeatedly, 9to5 Mac reported. However, a fix is said to be on its way.

The influx of complaints correlates to the release of version of the Snapchat application, which was pushed out less than one day ago. According to many users, the Snapchat application will immediately crash upon being opened, and no fix is currently available. Snapchat acknowledged the issue in a post on Twitter this morning, saying that it is working on a fix that will be released to the App Store soon.

Snap's Deal With Universal Music Group Lets Users Access Music

Snap Inc. and Universal Music Group have reached a deal that would give Snapchat users access to thousands of songs to share in messages and posts.

Snap users will be able to use songs from Universal in messages and posts in the app, the two companies said Thursday. Music fans also can share links to full songs from their streaming service of choice. Financial terms of the partnership, which includes new features that tout Universal artists, weren’t disclosed.

Snap Launching Standalone iOS Video Editing App

Snap, the firm behind Snapchat, announced a new iOS app called Story Studio that will launch later this year. It will provide editing tools, including AR Lenses that are designed specifically for mobile editing and vertical videos.

The app will pull data from Snapchat and its new Spotlight feature, more familiarly recognized as its TikTok competitor, to help people figure out how and what to make. They can look through Snapchat insights, like what’s trending on the app across sounds, hashtags, and lenses. Lenses will be built directly into Story Studio, as well as Snapchat Sounds and stickers, so editors can add those. Of course, like most other video editing apps, users can trim their videos and edit frame by frame. They can then share directly to Snapchat through a built-in button, or download their work to publish in other apps. Notably, content made in Story Studio won’t include a watermark, meaning if it’s published on other platforms, like Instagram’s Reels, it won’t be demoted by the algorithm.

Why Are All The Companies Copying Snapchat?

As Arielle Pardes points out, you’d think some of the tech companies were merging with the amount of features they’re copying from one another. This market is so free you guys.

Does your head hurt? Mine does, as do my thumbs, which now have three times as many platforms to scroll for short-form and ephemeral videos. I am overwhelmed with content and underwhelmed by features—at least until the next big thing comes along, and everyone lunges to copy that.

I have definitely noticed this when it comes to Facebook, if only because I don’t like Facebook. They’ve copied all they could from Snapchat. In my opinion, Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be as ubiquitous as WeChat is in China. All interactions, all commerce must flow through Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg can’t conceive of a different business model. Or, he can conceive but he doesn’t care. Why should he? We reward him by using his services.

Snapchat Competes With TikTok and Launches ‘Sounds’

Snapchat launched a new feature on Thursday called Sounds. It lets users add song clips to their snaps and stories, and it’s currently only available in the iOS app.

With Sounds on Snapchat, users of the iOS app worldwide can add music to their Snaps (pre- or post-capture) from a curated catalog of music. Snapchatters can add music before recording video by selecting the Sounds tool (with the music notes icon) on the right-hand side of the Camera screen and choosing a track from the Featured Sounds list. Alternately, they can select a track from the Sounds tool after taking a Snap.

Facebook Bought Giphy. What Does That Mean for Privacy?

Facebook announced today that it’s acquiring Giphy for an alleged sum of US$400 million.

Facebook characterized the acquisition—reportedly worth $400 million—as a way to help its millions of users “better express themselves.” […] Facebook says it will not collect information specific to individual people using Giphy’s API, but it will get valuable data about usage patterns across the web.

I definitely don’t believe them when they say that won’t collect individual data. That is Facebook’s raison d’être. This is exactly like its usage of the Onavo VPN spyware: Collect data on how people use GIFs everywhere, especially on competitor’s platforms. Mark Zuckerberg is furiously trying to beat Snapchat into submission. They rejected him once and he’s been out for blood ever since. GIFs may sound like a stretch when it comes to data collection, but keep in mind that web beacons exist.

Snapchat’s ‘Here For You’ Promotes Mental Health

Snapchat has a new tool called Here For You. Whenever the app detects you’ve searched for topics like “depression” it will present Here For You with mental health content written by experts.

“Sometimes people come in and search for this kind of content, be it anxiety or depression,” says Jen Stout, vice president of global policy at Snap. “Instead of being served up maybe nothing, or meme accounts, or something like that, we’re looking for a healthy alternative to provide young people with tools that would be readily available in the app.”

It’s nice to hear about a company doing something good for a change. It seems like it happens all too rarely.