A recent Snapchat update has added the ability for all users to include links in their Snapchats – both person-to-person and in Stories. Linking was previously only available for advertisers.
Instagram rolled out off-site linking to verified profiles back in November, and influencers that had previously never engaged their followers through ephemeral messaging found themselves flocking to the platform, a major blow to Snapchat. Since then, Instagram has gradually rolled out linking to non-verified users with larger audiences, but has not published a set criteria for how users can unlock the feature.
Snapchat’s update is long overdue, but might not be too late to attract smaller influencers and brands without the marketing budgets to grow their audiences at scale on Instagram.
Links attached with the tool, dubbed ‘Paperclip,’ will be checked against Snapchat’s own automated trust and safety tools, and will also utilize Google’s Safe Browsing database to protect users from scams, phishing, and potentially dangerous websites.
Backdrops & Voice Filters
Snapchat also released two other updates alongside the Paperclip feature: Backdrops and Voice Filters.
Backdrops allow users to “cut out” a part of their image, and insert color or a pattern behind it to make the selection ‘pop’.
Voice Filters have already existed in a limited capacity as part of Snapchat’s Lenses – like with the bumble bee Lens. Now, users can select from a collection of different character voices (like alien or robot) to alter the audio of their video recordings.
This is only the latest in several new Snapchat updates. Last month, they launched Snap Map, which allows you to both find your friends and see a heat map of where the most Snapchats are coming from. They also launched On Demand Geofilters, which allow casual users to create and pay for geofilters natively within the app to commemorate special occasions like birthdays, weddings, graduations, and more.