In what seems to be its efforts to fight the sedated growth of the platform, Snapchat is apparently working to bring its flagship Stories feature to the web. This essentially means that not just Snapchat users, but the ones who don’t have accounts on the mobile app will also be able to view these photos and videos.
Snap has said that starting next few weeks, in tandem with a broader rollout of its redesigned mobile app, it will add a new share option to Story tiles in its Discover section, The Verge reports. From there, users will be able to share a link via text or email outside of the main Snapchat app.
To view these Stories on the web, Snap is launching a desktop web viewer accessible over at Snapchat.com. The company says users in Australia and Canada, both of which have broader access to the redesigned app, can already start sharing on the web.
Snap carefully clarifies that this share option will only work for three varieties of public Stories – Official Stories, Our Stories, and Search Stories. Official Stories are those that are created by verified Snapchat accounts, like those of media, sports, and entertainment organizations, as well as celebrities. Those Stories will remain available on the web for up to 24 hours, Snap says. Users can share that content by finding it in the Discover section of the app, and then pressing and holding down on the tile to pull up the new share option.
Our Stories, on the other hand, are the collaborative, crowdsourced variety of Stories that Snap launched back in 2014, which allows users to publicly contribute snaps to a shared group that anyone on the app can view. Snap says that, similar to the situation on mobile, Our Stories will be available on the web for up to 30 days before disappearing. Whereas, Search Stories is another way to access public, user-generated snaps by searching keywords, and Snap says those will also be available on the web for 30 days, just like Our Stories.
This move echoes Twitter’s efforts in 2011, which allowed content publishers to embed tweets on their websites. And this will mark the first time that Snap will allow its users to widely distribute its content. This will also be the first time that Snapchat will let other apps to show its curated content of user videos, which Snap calls ‘Our Stories’.
In line with this report, last year in December, we had learnt about Snapchat working on a potential new feature called ‘Stories everywhere’, which aims to make its content more accessible outside the app. Snapchat was reported to be adopting the new feature to make it easier to discover videos shared in the app on other websites and apps.
Snapchat took the first step towards content earlier this year, when it allowed its users to share other people’s stories and content by publishers with their friends, but within the app. This would surely open a way for Snapchat to make money through licensing.