Snapchat's universal search bar solves a problem

Snapchat
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World hunger, poverty, the lack of a Snapchat search bar.

These are some of the challenges the world faces, but luckily, Snapchat just solved one of them by introducing a handy new feature. It may not help with world hunger, but it will set the minds of some Snapchat users at ease.

In IT Blogwatch, we do a search. 

So what is happening? Juli Clover has the background:

Snapchat was...updated with a...universal search feature that makes it easier for users to find friends, groups, stories, and other content on the social network...The new universal search bar is located at the top of the...app, making it accessible when browsing, sharing a photo, and more, an improvement over...previous search features that were split up across the app.

Great. How does it work? Saqib Shah fills us in:

The search bar is rolling out to select users on Android, with plans to make it available to all iOS and Android users soon. To access the tool...tap the new Bitmoji icon on the top left of the display. This will...take you to your own profile screen where you can jump into quick chats with friends and groups. Each of your contacts will be assigned their own card -- tapping and holding someone’s...card will let you view their...profile. Story thumbnails will also be accessible, allowing you to watch a friend’s recent Story. The search bar itself will allow you to find accounts, daily editions of Discover media channels, and specific Our Stories.

Anything else new? Chance Miller is in the know:

Snapchat is also opening up its Our Story to all users...Our Story is Snapchat’s curated story that follows big events, holidays, and places...Previously, Our Story had been restricted in terms of who can submit to it. With this change...the company itself can receive content from all users and decide from there how to aggregate it.

Does this search bar address a problem within the app? You bet it does. Bryan Clark shares how:

Snapchat...continually met with criticism over the difficulty of gaining new followers. Snapchat users...had to gain followers by sharing their username...outside the service, hoping for influencer mentions, or adding everyone under the sun and hoping they reciprocated. None of these created a clear path for influencers from other platforms to dive in...to Snapchat.
...
The update...makes finding friends, Discover publishers and Our Stories easier and more accessible throughout the app.

Do we know why Snapchat is rolling out these new features? Mudit Mohilay has a theory:

The feature could...provide Snapchat with a brand new revenue stream. How?...say someone searched for “Pizza”, Snapchat could potentially come up with stories from...pizza outlets along with a buy prompt for the users, at the top of the search results. And then charge those...outlets on a per view or a per sale basis. However, that is mere speculation.
...
And of course, Snapchat needs to build more audience. With an easier way for users to...access...more content of interest to them, the platform may just see a rise in its number of users.

And who might those new users be? Shane Dawson may have just spotted one:

I just saw a 3 year old using snapchat.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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