Snapchat’s New Update that Can Search for Stories

Snapchat's new story-searching function allows you to travel anywhere and view anything from many, many perspectives. Find out more.

On April 1st — no, this wasn’t an April Fools day prank — Snapchat began to roll out a new search option for its stories. As is always the case with the Internet, while a majority of people have good intentions, there can be some dangers. Most Stories come with advertisements, and it’s always best to be careful when leaving a trusted site and venturing out onto the web.

How the Snapchat Stories Update Works
In this introductory video, Snapchat details how to go about it. After swiping over to your Stories, you can plug anything you’d like to see (Snapchat suggests sports games, local bars, or puppies), and Snapchat will pull up the public Story corresponding to it. It may seem like more of the same from Snapchat — How does this differentiate from their offering already? — but it’s actually a huge step forward. It differentiates them from sites that have begun to copy their “My Story” model, such as Instagram and Facebook.

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Classic Snapchat stories are done by your friends, and will show you what they did throughout the day, and it’s that model that both Instagram and Facebook picked up on. Snapchat Stories (of the searchable variety) are a whole different beast. Instead of focusing on a person’s individual experience,  Snapchat Stories can capture a time or event from a group perspective.

A sports event may be interesting to watch from TV, but with a Snapchat Story curated by multiple individuals, the experience becomes more diverse and immersive. Maybe someone right next to the hoop captures a particularly impressive shot, while someone else captures the crowd’s reaction, and a third person catches a man spilling his soda as he stands up to cheer. This is the sort of moment no individual person could capture, and it can be delivered to you in nearly real time.

Snapchat uses a few techniques to sort its publicly-posted Stories into their individual feeds. After you submit a Story publicly, Snapchat scours it for text in the captions, as well as location information, to try to sort it into the appropriate Story. It can also use computer learning to recognize common shapes in a picture. Using machine vision and learning, artificial intelligence is able to recognize the shape of a puppy and place it within the puppy Story.