If you ever used and liked Snapchat, I’m sorry. It’s ruined now.
Snapchat stories were beautiful in their simplicity. You could only upload snaps to your story that were taken as they happened, inside the app. It felt real and authentic. Now, Snapchat has rolled out Memories, which allows you to save pictures to the app, as well as upload old pictures to your story.
This feels just like when Instagram turned on an algorithmic timeline. It destroyed one of the underlying core principles that made the app so good. Right now, stories are spontaneous. They feature a cute dog you saw walking down the street, or some blurry footage from a drunken night out. Now, people are going to upload only the best, most polished snaps to their story. This sucks. Snapchat always felt so raw, and now its just another Instagram or Facebook.
Spontaneity is what made the app so fun to use. I check Snapchat to see what friends are up to right now, as it happens. The next day the slate is wiped clean, ready for new content from that day. I don’t want to see an edited photo from your holiday in Belize six months ago. I want to see what you’re eating for lunch. Seriously! Snapchat is for everyday casual pictures, and Instagram is for your very best pictures. Snapchat is messing up that magic dynamic.
There is a pretty obvious reason as to why Snapchat might have made this god-awful change: ads. With the ability to upload more content to stories, Snapchat will now have more surface area to show more ads. Misled attempts to increase ad revenue has helped screwed a lot of other once great tech products, so the ruin of Snapchat was always inevitable. The company actually broke from the ephemeral model three years ago, when it started selling replays for $1.
Memories will fundamentally change how Snapchat is used, unlike replays or fun and addictive features like filters. Snapchat was the best app for seeing what people were up to in real time, and now it has lost that magic.