Snapchat’s New Memories Tool Lets Users Store Old Photos and Videos

The network famous for its disappearing acts is now allowing users create legacies

Snapchat, the social media network famous for letting its users post “snaps” that disappear after mere seconds, will now let users store favorite photos and videos indefinitely.

Snapchat announced July 6 that it will roll out its newest tool, Memories, “selectively over the next month” (TechCrunch reports that the West Coast will get it first). Memories allows users to create and maintain a running, Instagram-style cache of snaps that are accessible by swiping up once from the Snapchat’s camera screen. 

Memories will have a search bar, so you can key in “sapphire” or “cat” and see all the sapphire and cat snaps in a person’s Memories roll. And the snaps in Memories can be used to create new Stories, Snapchat’s popular linear storytelling tool. So Stories can now include older content, not just recently shot snaps—a big change for the network.

But lest we get mired in the past, the platform has concocted a way to flag older photos: If you post a snap you took more than a day ago to your Story, it will appear with a frame around it “so that everyone knows it’s from the past,” reads a Snapchat statement on the release.

A video from Snapchat that introduces its new Memories tool (photo courtesy of Snapchat)

Unlike regular snaps posted to the network, which the company claims not to store, Memories is backed up by Snapchat. “We won’t backup any photos or videos from your Camera Roll, unless you use one to make a new Story or add it to My Eyes Only [a feature that lets you choose viewership]. In that case, we’ll back up only the photo or video that you used.”

Snapchat told TechCrunch that its teen users “don’t want a permanent public timeline, but they still want to reminisce and tell bigger stories that incorporate more than just today.”

The new feature has reportedly been in the testing phase for months. “But Snapchat’s team tells me CEO Evan Spiegel is the kind of artist that really needs to sleep on ideas to make sure they feel right,” reports TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. “After all, Memories alters the basic physics of Snapchat. Apparently a big percentage of what Snapchat builds never ships, and Memories incorporates features the company was experimenting on across the product.”

At least one marketing pro is jazzed about the new feature. Ben Smithee, CEO of the Smithee Group and JCK speaker, wrote about Memories on Facebook yesterday, saying, “Game. Changed. Really strategic upgrade!”


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JCK Senior Editor

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