Snapchat’s newest feature shifts the app’s focus from its auto-erase capabilities towards its ability to be a platform where users will spend significant amounts of time on their photo collection. Appropriately titled “Memories,” it acts as a storage site within the app for users to save and re-send old pictures.

snapchat memoriesLocated conveniently beneath the camera button in the app, users can use Memories to edit and then send photos they have saved. Snapchat had added a number of features within Memories itself to keep the app’s original “real time” nature somewhat intact. For example, if a user chooses to send a snap that is older than 24 hours, a black frame will appear around it when the receiver opens it.

Memories offers other features, like a search bar that lets users look for specific pictures with content-based keywords and a “my eyes only” folder protected by a pass code.

While it may seem like these new features are just more bells and whistles to keep the average teenage social media user happy, they actually are a tacit way of allowing advertisers more time on the app. If Snapchat users keep all their important photos stored on the app, advertisers’ chances to reach their audiences will increase exponentially. Like Facebook’s “On This Day” feature, Snapchat’s Memories encourages users to recycle content, thereby prompting them to build a long-term relationship with the app.

In addition to keeping users on its app longer, Snapchat has allowed advertisers to create branded filters that users have the option of placing over their snaps. This is a clever way of advertising, especially in light of Memories. If a user saves a snap with a branded filter on it, he will view that ad again and again with no cost to the advertiser.

Though it still lags behind Facebook and Instagram in terms of user size, Snapchat’s will to innovate could put it on the map as a social network with staying power.