Recently Snapchat has been at the forefront of product development with many other social media platforms (cough, Facebook) essentially trying to steal their thunder. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen all those ‘stories’ memes.
This month, Snapchat announced that they’re completely overhauling the way that users search for Stories. At present, this feature only allows users to search for other users they interact with most or search for new people to follow. But the new search function will allow users to search for topics and themes acting very much in the same way popular search engines like Google work. This also opens up a very lucrative revenue stream for Snapchat.
This revamp benefits both users and advertisers – users get to search for information that’s relevant to them in a way they are already familiar with and advertisers get a new platform to display content to users who are actively searching for it. Winner, winner chicken dinner.
It’s important to note that Snapchat isn’t putting ads in the search listings… yet. But as the new feature gains traction, it’s likely to have similarities with Google, whereby we see sponsored stories within the search results as a way to monetise the platform.
How will it work
Ironically, Snapchat’s new search feature is somewhat similar to Facebook’s. For example, if you search for “premier league” on Facebook, the results would offer up brands and pages you can like, as well as photos, news, groups, and posts from friends about the premier league.
Whereas on Snapchat, the same search query will result in a list of every story and account relevant to the premier league. In the current climate of this social tug-of-war, this appears to be a move to divert Facebook user’s attention to Snapchat.
The Techy Stuff
This feature differs from the stories found in Snapchat Discover, which are assembled by human editors. The new search results are automated via a machine learning system which will consider the text within Snaps, as well as the time and place they are posted in order to establish whether they are relevant to the user’s search query.
Currently the new feature is only available in some part of America, with no news yet on when the rest of us can expect it. Keep your eyes peeled!