With Memories, Snapchat is Finally Growing Up

Snapchat is changing in a big way. Memories, a new feature rolling out over the next month, could reshape how the service is used and considered. Not only can you save and repost snaps, but you can add photos and video from your device's camera roll and edit and adjust already published snaps. All of these features could create a Snapchat that's less focused on broadcasting the immediate moment, which is arguably the social media app's specialty. But maybe that's for the best.
Image: SnapchatImage: Snapchat

You'll be able to open Memories by swiping up on the camera screen, and search through saved snaps by tapping on the Magnifying glass in the top right corner. Snapchat says users can search with typing keywords like "dog" or "Hawaii," which suggests the app is using object recognition technology to tell the difference between a dog and a cat.

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Images and video saved from snaps and stories (which you archive by tapping the Check arrow in the bottom left) can be merged and remixed into brand new snaps. And if you're not a fan of the geotag-based filter you used on the original snap, you can remove it or add new text to keep your posts fresh.

Image: SnapchatImage: Snapchat

You can also add content from outside Snapchat by selecting photos and video from the Camera Roll section. Before Memories, you could only send content from your camera roll as private messages, but this change allows you to intermingle photos taken outside of the app with the snaps and story posts you've previously made, as if they happened in that order.

And Snapchat wouldn't be Snapchat if we weren't talking about the risque. The company said it wants users "to feel comfortable showing their Memories to friends," (likely by handing their phone over) so it added For My Eyes, a section that lets you lock sensitive snaps behind a PIN number. We've got no judgement for what you place there, just make sure to use a password that's stronger than 1234.

Image: SnapchatImage: Snapchat

Memories adds so many options that users may find themselves spending even more time in Snapchat than ever before. With all of these editing and share-later options, some have good reason to worry about a less authentic Snapchat and an exodus of its younger users, but those fears feel overblown to me.

Snapchatters will probably still post and watch goofy content long after Memories rolls out to all of its users, and I doubt that more well-finessed content will push people away, or make the service seem "less cool." It's not like Snapchat's inviting our parents to come on board.

To me, Memories seems to be just what Snapchat needed. As Facebook and Twitter lunged to give us the option to live broadcast our lives, maybe Snapchat realized it should expand beyond instantaneous sharing. Perhaps the company believes something can be gained by taking a moment or two before sharing, and that maybe your first draft isn't the best draft.

Looks to me like Snapchat's growing up.