Snapchat adds ability to share (certain) Stories with people who don’t use Snapchat

snapchat

Stories are a huge part of Snapchat, and now the company is making it easier to share them with people who don’t have the app.

Not every story can be shared outside the app. The feature only works for Official Stories, unpartnered Our Stories, and Search Stories.

This needs a bit of explanation. So, official Stories are more visible, and come from a handful of selected Snapchat users. In the UK, that includes the likes of Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, Stormzy, and talk-show host and We Buy Any Car pitchman, Phillip Schofield.

Our Stories are hand-curated stories from specific events. So, for example, Snapchat might pick some stories from a music festival or gig. Search Stories are far simpler; these appear in organic search traffic when using the app.

With me so far? Good. If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is. For whatever reason, Snapchat has allowed Stories to become fractured and complicated, but I digress…

It’s worth mentioning that these stories have different longevities, for lack of a better word. Official Stories can be viewed outside of Snapchat for just 24 hours. The other two last longer, and stay up for a whole 30 days.

That’s a little surprising considering Official Stories come from influencers (again, for lack of a better word), and will probably be of greater interest to the Snapchat community than someone tripping on magic mushrooms at Glastonbury.

To share a story, just hold its tile and tap “Share Story.” You can share this via text message, email, or on other social platforms. Recipients view it through the snapchat.com.

Oh, another thing. This isn’t available to everyone. Only those with the new, redesigned Snapchat will get this. The company says it intends to roll out the controversial new redesign to more users over the following few weeks.

If you’re curious about the new Snapchat design, watch this video from Miranda Kerr’s husband, who explains it in just 60 seconds.

With Snapchat hungry for growth, this gambit could pay off, and could work as a gateway drug to the rest of the product.

On the flipside, it could backfire spectacularly. Snapchat’s decision to unleash stories outside of the app could have the same consequences as Facebook opening the floodgates to anyone without a ‘.edu’ address.

In short, it might push uncool, decrepid ‘olds’ into signing up, much to the chagrin of their millennial children. And then what will happen?

Yeah, it might boost user numbers, but it may have serious ramifications for any ‘cool factor’ Snapchat has.

Read next: YouTube marks Facebook and White House links as phishing attacks