The new Snapchat update lets you send stories to people who don’t use the app – is it a step in the right direction?

Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, September 24, 2017: iphone 6s plus with icons of social media on screen. Smartphone life style smartphone. Starting social media app.
Social media hit the headlines again this week as it was announced that Snapchat users could now share their stories with people who aren’t on the app.
The company has produced a new sharing feature, where you can send Official Stories, Our Stories and Search Stories to people who don’t use Snapchat. This is facilitated through a new video player on the company’s website.
Having sent a story to a non-Snapchat user, a link will appear in the corner of their screen, directing them to a download page for the app.
But is this a good move for the platform that is lagging behind on user figures?
 
How it works
To try out the new sharing feature, you first have to swipe left on the camera screen once in the app, to get to the new Discover screen.
From here, you need to tap and hold a Story tile, select the ‘share story’ option and choose how you’d like to go about it. You have the choice to use SMS, email and a selection of messaging platforms to share the story – you can also copy a link.
Stories are available for 30 days once they have been shared, as opposed to the 24 hours that they last among ‘small groups’ of Snapchat users.
The feature is only currently available to the users who have updated to the redesigned version of the app. This started at the beginning of 2018 but is yet to reach all users.
It is the right move?
It’s been evident that Snapchat is facing increased competition from Instagram stories – which are almost identical to Snapchat Stories. Snapchat currently has around 178 million daily users, whilst Instagram Stories had reached 300 million status back in November.
It was also reported that Snapchat decided to redesign the app in November 2017 because some users were finding it difficult to understand and use. So, these elements taken into account, the company is clearly trying to attract new users.
However, the changes haven’t gone down all that well with some users, who claim they are now struggling to find their favourite features.
As a Snapchat user, the changes haven’t gone down with myself all that well, either. Snapchat must be feeling the heat and the need to diversify and appeal to the masses, but this new feature seems a complete veer away from the idea of what they set out to do.
I’m not sure receiving a shared Snapchat Story or downloadable link would convince me to join Snapchat, especially when I can view a much wider variety on Instagram so easily already.
The developments are also a way off allowing users to share their personal stories, which may have tipped the scales somewhat. So my verdict, for now: not convinced.