Snapchat has rolled out three new tools for its platform which include paper clip, backdrop, and voice filters. The features are already available for iOS and Android users. Snapchat has also added the ability to create filters right in the app, and customise them with Creative Tools.
Snapchat’s new tools are a part of Vertical Toolkit that pops on the right after one takes a Snap. Paper clip lets users attach URL to their Snap. Just click on the paper clip icon from the toolkit, and enter URL that needs to be linked to the Snap. Now when friends swipe the Snap up, page attached to the link will open in app’s internal browser. According to a report in TechCrunch, Snapchat will use safety tools along with Google’s Safe Browsing service to warn users “about potential phishing scams, malware or other dangerous sites.” Rival Instagram allows verified websites to put URLs in Stories.
Using Snapchat’s backdrop feature, people can swap original background in a photo with new artsy backdrops available in the app. Select Scissors icon, and then Backdrop icon from the Vertical Toolkit. Now trace around an object in Snap, and select a pattern to add to background. The object that users trace will appear the same, while rest will appear as background. This means filters on Snapchat are no longer restricted to face masks, and the company is going beyond it to make Snaps interesting.
Coming to voice filters, the feature will let users select from a range of character voices to add to a video. Previously, voice filters were only available as a part of Augmented Reality (AR) lenses on Snapchat. Now users can select the speaker or sound icon at the bottom to choose from a range of new voices. As of now, there are five voice filters including the one to mute video. New voice filters are likely to add more fun to Stories.
Finally, Snapchat now supports on-demand geofilters. To design a geofilter, tap ‘On-Demand Geofilters’ in Settings. Next, pick a theme for the filter and add text, Bitmojis, and Stickers. Once filter is developed, users can choose where it appears and when. “Your Geofilter can cover an event or entire block — for an hour or up to ninety days. Pricing starts at $5.99. You’ll hear from Snapchat when your Geofilter is approved to confirm payment and details,” Snapchat’s blog post reads.
The development comes as Snapchat is facing intense competition from Instagram and Facebook, which are busy copying its features. The platform has close to 161 million daily active users. Instagram’s Stories feature, on the other hand, with over 200 million daily users is bigger than Snapchat itself. This latest update, which brings the ability to add links to individual Snaps, and Stories, is Snapchat’s strongest attempt to woo creators on the platform, and push back at Instagram.