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Snapchat Now Supports Web Links, Adds Backdrops

12 Jul, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

VENICE, Calif. – Snap has unveiled several new features. One, called Snap Map, lets users track their friends’ whereabouts in real-time.

Snap Map also lets users virtually scan their physical surroundings and see where friends are posting snaps and stories and where large groups are gathering anywhere in the world, based on information people choose to share publicly. “Heat” colors illustrate large, active groups in particular geographic areas.

The tool can also give publishers and marketers more ways to engage audiences on the platform, which likely spells more moneymaking opportunities for Snap.

Analysts say the new product is one way Snap is reviving itself after an ugly IPO earlier this year. In May, the company released a lackluster debut earnings report, which was then followed by research suggesting that Snapchat’s growth is already sagging.

But Snap continues to tout its distinct attributes. Suggesting a highly engaged community, more than 60 percent of Snapchat’s daily users create content every day, according to internal data.

Another new tool dubbed Paperclip lets users include links to websites. Receivers of Snapchats can simply swipe upward to view links.

The feature was previously only available to advertisers. But now, global users on both iOS and Android will be able to let users swipe up on their Snaps to open external links.

Other new features include voice filters and a tool called Backdrops, which lets users crop objects out of a Snap and overlay them onto colorful patterns. Different Backdrop designs will rotate daily.

Voice filters let users edit the sound within their video Snaps. Voice effects were previously only available with certain Lenses, though now tapping the speaker icon at the bottom of the screen will let users choose from an array of different characters.

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