Snapchat Releases Updates in Bid to Challenge Facebook, Instagram

Some of the news lately about Snapchat has been less than positive.


And that’s unfortunate, because the company has some really cool, innovative ideas out there.


Right now Snap is unleashing its latest update of its main line app and so far early reviews are positive.


Probably the biggest addition to Snapchat is a feature called “Friendship Profiles.”


Basically this puts all of the stuff you’ve shared over Snapchat with a friend in one place. You can both access it and see what your shared user history is.


That’s quite a marked change in philosophy for the company that had once prided itself on offering an app that instantly deleted photos. Among other things that the new Friendship Profiles feature saves includes locations on your Snap Map. If you haven’t set your privacy settings to keep your location hidden, then this will be visible here, too.


The information is private between you and your friend – so there’s no need to worry about someone else getting a hold of it.


Selecting their Friendship Profile with a user is quite easy. People need only tap on the user’s bitmoji and then they can access the Friendship Profile information from there.


Discussing the new feature, Snap told users in a blog post, “Friendship Profiles make it easy to find your favorite memories and the important information you’ve saved over time. It’s the fastest way to find the highlights of your friendship.”


Two other major additions include Bitmoji Stories and Bitmoji Merch. If that sounds strange then you’re not the only person to think so. The concept is, however, quite simple.


Bitmoji Stories are described by Newsweek as a kind of comic strip that uses bitmoji graphics. Friends can be included in these stories and, naturally, the stories can be shared.


Bitmoji Merch is pretty easy to explain – literally merchandise featuring a bitmoji. The merchandise will include t-shirts, phone cases, and more. If anything shows that Snap is serious about making money, Bitmoji Merch might be it.


Snap has had a tough road to go of late and many analysts increasingly question its ability to compete with rival Facebook and its Instagram division. On nearly every unique feature, Instagram has met Snap’s challenge and even introduced new innovations on its own. The perception by many is that Instagram is starting to outpace Snapchat and that the latter really isn’t a competitor anymore.


Then again, people point to the resurrection of Twitter in the past several years. Once left for dead on Facebook’s doorstep, Twitter’s resurgence is the stuff of corporate legend.


Of course, Snap also outlined that its new features are only the beginnings of a new slate of offerings coming late this year and into 2019. The company is being aggressive in its projections and it expects profitability at some point in the near future. You can expect that Snapchat will begin to reflect this newfound aggressive stance and that will show up first in the features.