There’s no getting around the fact that Snapchat has a user growth problem, so it’s smart that the company is making it easier for people who like and use Snapchat to share content they find within beyond the app itself. Today, Snap is launching the ability to share some public Stories via links that then display the Story selected on Snapchat.com.
Stories eligible for sharing right now include those Official Stories and Our Stories found in the Discover tab, as well as Search Stories, though Snapchat says those are just what’s included “at launch,” which indicates that the types of Stories you could share will expand over time. This feature is also going live to anyone running the redesigned Snapchat app as of today, which includes test markets like Australia and Canada, and will become available for iOS and Android over the next few weeks to the rest of the world as the redesign expands globally.
Snap says that part of its motivation for launching this feature is to allow users to share content from within the app to demonstrate to people who aren’t already on the platform what it can do. It’s also aiming to make it easier for outside parties, including media outlets, to incorporate Snap-based content in their reporting. That suggests that while this feature is launching as a simple link that leads to a web-based replica of the in-app Story, eventually the plan could also involve more embed-friendly formats, similar to what Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have rolled out for their respective platforms.
Already, Snapchat Stories shared directly via some platforms will support in-line playback, including on Twitter, using the same web link. Also, on Facebook, you’ll see a link to the full content along with a preview, similar to how YouTube video sharing works on the platform. Snap also says that for now it’s not running Snap Ads on the web-based versions of shared stories, but that it isn’t totally ruling out monetization strategies for shared content.
While in some ways external sharing of Snapchat Stories is counterintuitive to the app’s focus on ephemerality, Snap has built that in to its sharing mechanism, too. Our Stories will last only 30 days outside of Snapchat, even via the link, for instance, and Search Stories will also expire after 30 days. Official Stories will only remain live for 24 hours – so each external share has an expiry date, which could be an interesting challenge for those looking to use them to support stories and content that outlast the Snapchat Stories themselves.