Snapchat Introduces New Public Search Feature

Snapchat continues to change the way people communicate through their mobile devices, and also continues to innovate the social media industry with more developments to add to their simple messaging mobile app. Now, Snapchat is giving its users better search capabilities by opening the app from a mostly private communication tool to a more public content sharing platform.

Indeed, the mobile messaging and media app has just beefed up its new search page by introducing ways to sort through content in order to unlock specific topics or subjects.  For instance, users can now search for topics like “New York Fashion Week” or “kittens” or “kitchen remodeling” to see video Stories that are related to these topics.

When using a search feature, Stories will open another window into the Snapchat content. This new public function will certainly introduce users to a more open experience, something that will certainly engage people in a much different way, particularly since the public setting will not run ads or show any sponsored results.

Snapchat also goes on to say that developing search within Stories, in this way, will help with the machine learning aspect of the technology. In a blog post, the company posed: “We’ve built a new way to understand what’s happening in snaps that are submitted to OurStory, and to create new Stories using advanced machine learning,” noting particularly that at first, Snap users will be able to search through more than a million stories. The blog continues, “For example, this advanced machine learning can look at things like caption text, time, and visual elements.”

Snapchat already has more than a million Stories—and has been curating them for many years.  They partner with other companies at special events and use the experiences within marketing and media opportunities.  Then, last year, the company launched a remodeled search page which made the platform even more accessible, albeit only incrementally, perhaps as a precursor to what they had in store with today’s announcement.

So far, the new searches have been organic but, eventually, Snapchat would have to give into publishers and creators as a means to garner financial support to develop yet more distribution reach. When Snapchat went public last year, it could have easily been viewed as an attempt to capture more of those funds in order to more readily compete with Facebook and Instagram through the development of this public platform (among others).