After being mercilessly ripped off by Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat is leveling the playing field by adding a feature its competitors don’t have: Story search.
Snapchatters can now search specific locations, events, and words in order to find Snaps of those things.
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For example, if you search for a specific concert, you’ll be able to see Snaps others have taken there. If you search for “puppies,” you’ll find all the public Stories about puppies (okay, I’m sold).
Don’t worry: your Snaps aren’t automatically available to searchers. They’ll have to be put in ‘Our Story’ — Snapchat’s collaborative Story anyone can contribute to — in order to be found.
Snapchat is facing a challenge, since Facebook has — to put it politely — co-opted some of its most famous features. Facebook’s and Instagram’s Stories are almost identical to Snap’s. Now Snapchat is letting users search for relevant Stories, making them more likely to turn to Snapchat when they want live video of specific things.
Search is rolling out to a few US cities today, with the rest of the world presumably to follow soon. We’ll see how long it takes Facebook to add this feature to its Stories.