Snapchat, the mobile messaging app that boomed on the strength of ephemeral photo "snaps"—often enough, racy (or worse) "sexts"—has apparently decided that "temporary social media" posts that disappear seconds after sending may not be all that after all.
Today the company unveiled "Snapchat Stories," which are collections of snaps from the previous 24 hours that users and their friends can watch over and over. You can share stories with friends and access ones shared with you (you'll find them under "recent updates") for up to 24 hours.
Creating a story starts the same way you'd send a snap to a friend; it just requires choosing the "My Story" option instead of a friend. Snap an image with your smartphone camera, and it's then saved to your story collection, which you can keep expanding with additional snaps.
Snapchat's popularity has mushroomed to the point that some rumors suggest it may be approaching a $1 billion valuation. (CEO Evan Spiegel said last month that users send 350 million snaps a day.) Snapchat has caught some flack for the fact that snaps don't really disappear—they can linger in temporary phone storage—but the company responded with a complete breakdown of where exactly all those sexts are stored.
With the release of Stories, the Verge noted, Snapchat comes one step closer to competing with Facebook's News Feed product, where posts and photos live longer than mere seconds. Although the new feature only saves collections for 24 hours, it gives users the ability to save and share their Snapchat narratives with a broader audience, making memories not so fleeting.
Image via Flickr user James Mitchell, CC 2.0