Snapchat is changing up the way users share photos in a major way.
The app is introducing a new feature called memories, which allows you to save photos you take in the app and share them again later.
For Snapchat, the update is a huge one as it marks the first time Snapchat has enabled users to widely share photos that weren’t taken “in the moment.” It also suggests that the company may be looking to walk back its emphasis on ephemerality — at least a little — as it looks to broaden its mainstream appeal.
Memories, which will begin to roll out to Snapchatters over the next month, lets you create a searchable collection of your saved snaps within the app that you can share later. It will also allow you to share photos and videos taken outside of the app itself.
Saving a snap to your Memories, a dedicated section within the app, works just like posting a photo or video to your story — “My Memories” will now appear underneath your story and other live stories (you can also adjust your settings so that photos saved with the save button are saved to the Memories section, in addition to your device.)
You can find saved Memories by swiping up from the camera screen. Here, you can view your saved snaps, stories and — if you want to share photos not taken in the app — your camera roll.
You can search for specific snaps by keyword. The app uses Google Photos-like object recognition so you can search for things like “beach” or “dog,” in addition to dates and places.
Most importantly, you can share your saved Memories and old photos to your story or directly with your contacts, even if they were taken a long time ago. Memories shared to your story will still only appear for 24 hours and the app will indicate that it is an older photo, not one that was taken and shared immediately.
Snapchat will let you edit Memories before you share them to a friend or to your story. If the photo was originally taken in Snapchat, you’ll not only be able to add the standard text and doodles but also add filters that were only available at the time you originally took the photo — like geofilters or the time filter — even if you’re no longer in the same location. (If it’s a camera roll photo, you can ad text and stickers and doodle but not geofilters.)
Memories is also getting a password-protected section called “My Eyes Only,” which adds an extra layer of security to snaps within Memories. Those snaps can only be accessed by using a password. (Snapchat notes that this password cannot be recovered if you forget it, so choose wisely.)
The fact that photos and videos shared within Snapchat disappear by default has been somewhat of a blessing and a curse for the app. Its quick, casual, sharing helped the app become massively popular but it’s also made the experience confusing for some. It may have also caused some users to question whether they would want to use the app during some situations — like important events — when they want to preserve moments for longer than 24 hours.
Memories, it would seem, offers a compromise between the two: Snapchat is now both home to your silly selfies and those moments you don’t want to disappear.