Ever since Instagram released the “Stories” option on their app, Snapchat has been busy finding new ways to stand out from the crowd. Thus, barely a week ago, Version 9.38 was released, offering four new elements that Snapchat users have long dreamed of.
First off, Snapchat introduced a custom Geofilters feature. Long gone are the days where users only had 3-5 filter options. Now they can go on Snapchat’s website and create custom filters through their online editing software. The Verge gives a breakdown of how it works in their review of the new version:
The filters, which can cost as little as $5 for a party in a small geographic area, will appear alongside the other geofilters inside the app when your guests post snaps during your event. Snapchat’s tool lets you customize the filter’s color palate and the text, and offers preview images to show you what your guests’ snaps will look like once the filter is live.
Second, Snapchat has gifted its users with new caption features. Instead of the traditional, plain white text options, there are now ways to highlight, italicize, bold and underline text. Furthermore, emojis and stickers are now able to be pinned to objects in videos, and not just in pictures.
Third, users also have the ability to view public stories of users they have not added. This option is only available regarding users who have their story on a public setting. Otherwise, no access will be granted.
Lastly, Snapchat has increased the ease of use by providing quicker access to the lens filters. Originally, one had to long-press to activate the filters; now, all it takes is a tap on the screen.
Obviously, Snapchat sees Instagram’s new story options as a threat to the popularity of their app. Usually, their updates involve very minor changes over a long period of time. However, their sudden improvements would suggest that they are definitely trying to compensate for (and defeat) the competition. Thus far, Snapchat seems to have made the right choice, as avid Snapchat users are very enthusiastic about the updates.
In the spirit of competition, all Snapchat users should give a hearty thanks to Instagram for making Snapchat step up their game!