If you haven't heard, Snapchat recently released a new update called "Memories," allowing users to upload previously created content to their real-time feed: "My Story."
Since then, there has been quite a bit of discussion around this move by Snapchat and whether or not it stays true to the platform's original intent: raw, vulnerable, in-the-moment content.
Social media thought leader, Gary Vaynerchuk, took to his blog (and all other dissemination channels) to discuss both the black-and-white issues of the update, as well as offer some of his own insight into how this will all play out for Snapchat:
"What Memories signifies to me is another subtle move in Snapchat's very smart strategy. Whether it was premeditated or reactionary, Snapchat started in a niche that it owned, scaled its user base, and now is becoming a complete distribution channel without restrictions. Snapchat is now the place where most of America's (and soon to be most of the world's) 18 to 35 year old attention is. Limiting content creation to what can only be created within the app doesn't have as much upside as allowing people to upload pre-existing content. I bet that in 24 months, this update will be seen as a very smart move in Snapchat's maturation into an even more influential platform."
For those that don't know, "Memories" is a new way to organize content within the Snapchat app. According to Snapchat's blog (and the promo video that perfectly showcases the advertising direction the company intends to head: featuring two famous Instagrammers, @alexisren and @jayalvarrez), "Memories" encourages users to save content from your Snaps and Stories right into the app--and organize based on keywords for easy searching later.
Now, here's what's interesting...
Whenever a company or a business pivots in some way (like Instagram changing their logo, for example), people often react emotionally and either proclaim support or opposition.
Neither is beneficial.
The real question is: Why?
Why did Snapchat create "Memories"? What is their long-term intention? And, knowing what we know about Snapchat's CEO, Evan Spiegel, and his denying Facebook's $3B offer a while back, where do we think Snapchat is headed?
Well, let's think. Where do your Snapchat stories currently get saved, should you choose to save them?
Your camera roll.
And where will they be saved now?
In "Memories," inside the Snapchat app.
As we've heard many times now: "Snapchat is a camera company." This, I believe, is their long-term play. And "Memories" isn't just a shift outwardly in terms of the types of content you can create and upload to your Story--it's also a shift internally, inside your phone, where you choose to organize your photography and video content.
"Memories," whether it appears so or not, is actually a strategic move to counter whatever camera roll option you currently use on your phone--Apple, Android, etc. Snapchat wants you to take all your photos and videos inside the app--not just "on your phone." And they want you to organize that content inside Snapchat--not just "on your phone."
"Memories" might be a large update, but it seems to be setting the stage for things much bigger down the road.