Snapchat Upgrades to Counter Threat of Instagram

Messaging giant Snapchat has come out with a spate of updates following growing fears regarding the threat posed by Instagram, whose Direct Messaging feature has been widely popular and key in diversifying the app’s functionality. The keystone of the raft of Snapchat’s updates is the feature to add hyperlinks to snaps and stories, which counteracts one of Snapchat users’ most long-running complaints – that of being detached from other apps. The new feature, called Paperclip, can be accessed by tapping the eponymous button before sending the snaps.

Voice Filters and Focus Adjustments

An important feature in the new updates is the ability to remix your voice after a snap has been recorded. This is not a novel feature for Snapchat users, but represents an upgrade over the previous configuration, wherein the user could use voice filters in Snapchat’s animated lenses but not in snaps. The options among voice filters can be accessed by tapping on the speaker icon.

The Backgrounds tool provides users the option to add a background to their snap. While Snapchat already has illustration overlaying features in its geofilters, the option to add a background could represent a valuable update for its user base. The scissors feature of this update also lets you choose the portions of your photo that you want to highlight in the foreground. The Backdrops feature will imitate Snapchat’s existing filters feature in that the collection of backdrops will keep rotating on a daily basis.

Will it be Enough?

Snapchat has held on to a steady niche in the communication sector despite the rapid growth of Facebook’s network of social media. The new updates may not represent a giant leap, but considering the emphasis Snapchat lays on the teenage demographic, they could mean a significant difference in consumer figures.