Previously criticized by many for the lack of discovery tools, Snapchat is finally letting users search across over 1 million Stories curated by Snapchat. To browse the stories, one simply needs to start typing search words in the search tab on the home screen. Stories, submitted by users to Snapchat’s ‘Our Story’ and selected by Snapchat to be part of the searchable stories, will appear in the search results.
Powered by machine learning
Snapchat Stories search tool is built by the company using machine learning to help identify what Stories are submitted by users to “Our Story” by image elements or captions and organize them by keywords. This doesn’t mean however that the process is entirely automatic: Snapchat editors will continue reviewing and selecting the submitted stories (despite previous set-backs such as firing editors).
Search results appear as tabs with preview, and one can watch a story by tapping on it in the search results:
All eyes on search, including advertisers’
The new search feature that Snapchat started rolling out today, will not only help users discover what’s happening in the local community and around the world but also make Snapchat more attractive for advertisers. While Snapchat’s announcement hasn’t mentioned including ads in the new searchable stories, it won’t be surprising if the company introduces ads in the stories in the future. Last year Snapchat acquired Vurb, a mobile search startup that helps people make collaborative decisions (for example, going to a movie) and matches these against partner offers (for example, Yelp or Rotten Tomatoes).
While it’s not clear how exactly Snapchat will utilize Vurb, you can see the product demo and its key features int he video below:
Snapchat Stories were launched in October 2013 and evolved from “singular, personal perspectives” to collective stories created by Snapchat users around the world and curated by Snapchat team.
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