Dec 14th, 2020

Yesterday, Snapchat began rolling out a new feature to the app called Moments. It seemed like a simple enough concept — a gallery of your Snaps and Stories backed up to your Snapchat account — but people fear change, especially when it’s something they’re already so familiar with. It can be a bit… unsettling. Needless to say, there were a lot of questions and Snapchat’s initial blog post didn’t answer very many of them, something you wouldn’t be able to truly grasp until you actually played around with it.

With the update now rolling out to most users, we thought it’d be good to walk you through Memories, exploring all the steps on how it works, what it is, what it isn’t, and even some of the options available for it. Let’s get started.

Yes and no. Snapchat has always been about taking photos in the moment. By forcing users to create Stories using the app’s built-in camera, Snapchat felt more personal and genuine than other social networks littered with memes and re-hosted content.

But it’s also these same restrictions that felt like an unnecessary roadblock for the people using the service the most and ultimately, kept the Snapchat from attracting new users they need to grow. Want to share something on Snapchat and add cool filters, text, and emoji? You’ll need to post that Snap before you can take another. Often times, this would take you — the user — out of that moment you were so desperately trying to share, making something that should be easy (sharing photos/videos with others) into something that felt like an unnecessary chore. Probably not the best idea for a social network looking to hit that next million user milestone.

For long time users, Memories allows people to get more creative with Stories by picking and choosing what goes into them, even if it’s old photos or videos taken after the fact. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest Snapchat user (for the reasons listed above). But now that I can take a handful of photos with my regular camera app and upload them when I have a little downtime — not while I’m supposed to be enjoying whatever it is I’m sharing — I can see myself sharing to Snapchat a lot more.

To help curb users from only uploading old content from Memories, Snapchat doesn’t penalize users for uploading old photos, but they do make it obvious that it’s not a true Snap by displaying them with a thick white border along with the relative date/time. This applies to photos/videos taken with your regular camera app that are only a few seconds old. It’s like Snapchat’s version of the scarlet letter.

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