Snapchat Adds New Features, Allows Users to Re-View Snaps (for a Price)

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Snapchat Adds New Features, Allows Users to Re-View Snaps (for a Price) | Social Media Today​Snapchat is probably the most divisive social network going around at the moment. For regular users, it’s an amazing tool, serving both personal and business purposes for many. But a lot of people still don’t get what all the fuss is about – for many Snapchat still carries the baggage of being that crazy app that kids use to share naked photos of themselves, an initial perception that’s it’s moved away from but is still associated with, at least to some degree.

And it’s kind of both. Not so much a sexting app, but it’s brazen, with its bold colors and the ability to scribble on your photos and add filters. Snapchat’s focus is on fun, on providing a way to mess arounf and do what you like on social without the ongoing consequences of that content sticking around or being shared amongst your wider networks of family and friends. So you can embarrass yourself, you can be foolish, and you can do this knowing that the content will soon disappear and no one will be digging it up again in future and holding it against you. And while there are tools to capture Snapchat images and you can’t just snap with impunity, the platform facilitates humorous, engaging interactions which can be as restricted or open as each user chooses.

Virtual Mutation

Staying true to this path, Snapchat has today announced two significant updates. The first is the addition of ‘Lenses’. Lenses enables users to add animations and effects to their selfies, transforming themselves into everything from elderly citizens to horrifying monsters.

Snapchat Adds New Features, Allows Users to Re-View Snaps (for a Price) | Social Media TodaySnapchat Adds New Features, Allows Users to Re-View Snaps (for a Price) | Social Media TodayHorrifying.

Lenses is powered by Looksery, a face modification app that Snapchat acquired for around $ 150 million. Looksery was originally a video chat app that enabled people to alter their appearance on their videos, making themselves look like cats or a pandas, but it had problems establishing itself as a new platform in an increasingly competitive market. Merging with Snapchat enables them to utilize their technology on a wider scale, within an already established network.

The addition of Lenses is already generating buzz online, with many users (like the ones above) posting pictures of their new looks through the function. Also, if you see people doing this to their phones:

Snapchat Adds New Features, Allows Users to Re-View Snaps (for a Price) | Social Media TodayNow you’ll know why. It’s a great addition to the app and goes completely in-step with Snapchat’s style and audience appeal.

Buy a Snap

The more significant element of this update is the option to re-view your snaps. In some ways, this goes against the entire ethos of Snapchat – as noted above, while most people know there are ways to capture snaps to ensure they live on beyond the set time limit on each, the concept of disappearing content is still, at core, what Snapchat is about. Or maybe ‘was’ all about is more accurate. In recent times Snapchat has deviated from this path – the introduction of ‘tap to view’ back in July acknowledged that people can and will save snaps (the original idea was that people had to hold a finger on screen to view content, which stopped them from taking screenshots) while the ‘Replay’ function, which enables users to re-watch one snap per day, has been in place for some time. In this sense, adding the ability to re-watch snap content is not really a big change, but it is still a significant step.

Also, while you can re-watch snaps, the option does come with a catch – you’re gonna’ have to pay for it.

From the announcement:

“Today, U.S. Snapchatters can purchase extra Replays, starting at 3 for $ 0.99. You can use a Replay on any Snap you receive, but you can only Replay any Snap once. They’re a little pricey — but time is money!”

This is an interesting angle for monetization, though one that seems pretty low-risk – if you don’t want to use it, don’t, just continue on as you always have. The majority of Snapchat’s revenue, currently, comes from its Discover platform, which enables publishers to share content with Snapchat’s user base via an unintrusive, additional area in the app. Discover has been pretty well-received, with some publishers seeing more than 1 million unique viewers per day. But Snapchat’s valuation is high, with recent funding putting the app’s value at around $ 16 billion. A price tag like that comes with expectation, and Snapchat will no doubt be exploring various avenues to increase monetization options with a view to an IPO. If Replays prove popular, this could be a quick and easy win in this regard, whilst also enabling the company to capitalize on its key strength in user engagement.

It’s an interesting announcement from Snapchat – a fun addition and a commercial proposition, rolled into one (very short) blog post. Lenses will no doubt get the focus here, which is good for Snapchat as it takes attention away from the slow shift towards monetization, which could alter the user-experience over time. In taking the focus off this aspect, they avoid it becoming a bigger issue – had they just announced Replays by themselves there’d be all sorts of talk of the platform’s need to make money and the necessary changes such moves will entail. Instead, regular Snapchatters are focused on morphing their faces, snarling at their phones and, importantly, using the app. And no doubt some of those Lenses-modified images will justify a few re-views.

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SNAPS AND RYE, NOTTING HILL

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By Rebecca Milford

In three words: Immaculate, Fresh, Delicious

The Lowdown: Scandi fever is in no way slowing down – from Nesbo, The Killing, and H&M, we’re all fans of something a little Nordic. Well, now it’s time to add a quirky cafe to this smorgasbord of delights, as beautiful and brilliant Snaps + Rye has opened in Notting Hill at the end of last year. Even the trendy name reads like a designer label selling perfectly-fitted stonewashed jeans.

The concept of Jacqueline Skött and her husband Kell, they decided to indulge a love of cooking and Danish hospitality by opening their own Scandinavian inspired eatery. Of course there’s the expected offerings of smørrebrød open sandwiches, tempting us with delicious, exposed toppings of gravlax or salt beef, but that isn’t all. Open for breakfast, lunch and simple snackage, Snaps + Rye offers a chance to delve deeper in the culinary prowess of countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark. And naturally the onus is also on design. From the crockery, decor, and even the plating of food, it’s utterly gorgeous.

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Location: Along the hotchpotch, Bohemian Golbourne Road in Notting Hill. The road has eclectic cafes, antique shops and eccentric bric-a-brac, and the white frontage of Snaps + Rye stands out like fresh laundry on a summer’s day.

The Occasion: Whether you fancy a snack, a full meal, or aren’t quite sure yet, Snaps + Rye cater for all occasions and you won’t be disappointed. Similar to retreating to a stunning Scandinavian lake house, it’s the kind of place you’ll feel at peace and will be loath to leave.

Decor: As expected, it’s absolutely stunning yet simple, with pale walls, the bright pop of red piping behind the counter, and a vast scape of a windswept beach adding colour. Everything has been carefully thought through, from the little boats hanging from the ceiling, the blonde wood fittings, and prettily patterned plates.

Atmosphere: Completely relaxed and comfortable. This seems like a stress free environment where the pace of life is most definitely chilled.

Culinary Concept: Scandinavian cuisine that casts the net wider than just meatballs or sandwiches. Expect lots of seafood and pickled goodness – clean tastes and clever pairings, not likely to make you feel over-full or lethargic.

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What we tried:

The Instagram-friendly plates are things of beauty – packed with colour and texture, you’ll have an inward struggle with taking a picture of this food art or simply stuffing it in your chops since it looks so tasty. Smaller plates are the right size for nibbles or starters, and we decided to have smoked duck with pickled Cararway red cabbage and crisp apple salad. The meat had a delicious fire-side haziness to it, leaving a sensation of ashes smouldering on a pebble beach, while the sharp zing of apple cut through nicely. Another starter of herring had more sumptuous texture than we were expecting, again with a delightful sweetness that worked wonderfully with the comforting potato salad that accompanied it and tiny little discs of crunchy radish.

For a main course, their signature dish, The Sun Over Golbourne, caught our eye immediately. A version of the Danish classic Sol Over Gudhjem, it is a perfectly pretty dish of smoked sardine resting atop rye bread, lettuce, capers and radish, with the golden orb of egg yolk balancing atop the fish. The flavour combinations were incredible – salty fish and sharp capers, chewy bread, and the liquid sunshine of yolk binding it all together with a smooth lustre. The fish just smacked of freshness – a mouthful and we were standing on a Nordic beach, tasting the salt-flecked wind rolling off the waves.

We also succumbed to a dessert – the array on display at the counter was too good to miss, and after careful consideration (the cherry and almond tart looked superb) we went for coconut flapjack. Exotic, crumbly, indulgent – we can see why people pop in just for a coffee and treat.

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For next time: I want to try everything on this menu – it’s so fresh and tempting. One other dish that caught the eye was flash-fried smoked eel with warm potato salad, toasted rye, mustard and crisp ham. Definitely one for next time.

Veggie delights: If you don’t eat fish then this place isn’t ideal, but we’re sure they apply their diligence and quality to veggie options. The beetroot, Danish brie, pickled walnuts and wild mushrooms with rye would definitely give the seafood a run for its money.

Best of the booze: The wine list is obviously carefully chosen – we were impressed to see a favourite Kung Fu Girl Riesling on the menu, the crisp flavour of which is ideal with fish.

Overall: We knew we’d love Snaps + Rye as soon as we stepped over the threshold and into this capsule of contemporary cuisine and design. It brought to mind a visit to Stockholm taken a couple of years ago – a common theme seemed to be attractive blonde people, looking studiously at MacBooks or walking with calm purpose. This is what I thought of in Snaps + Rye – a place where beauty meets functionality, and everything has a reason for being there, from the capers on my dish to the charming little candles on the table. The food is amazing and will have you wishing you could eat this kind of thing every day. It’s nice that we don’t though, since the novelty makes for a perfect opportunity to take a trip Scandi-side and, what’s more, we’ll be bringing our friends.

BOE Magazine

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