Snapchat is in a tough spot right now and we’re not just talking about all of those insensitive filters. Users love Stories, but because of that, everybody from Medium to Bumble to Facebook is adding its own version of the feature to its platforms. At this point, Snapchat needs to do whatever it can to stay one step ahead of its many imitators. It made a move to do just that today with a new search tool for Stories.
Snapchat added a new search bar in January, but now its functionality includes the option to search for “cats” and see a bunch of cat videos, for example. To contribute to a Story, all users have to do is add a Snap to Our Story. Then, Snapchat’s machine learning algorithms will sort these posts into relevant feeds that users can look for. As Mashable notes, this new feature may have been made possible thanks to Snapchat’s acquisition of search and recommendation app Vurb last year.
The feature is rolling out to users in select cities today, but there’s no word yet on when it will be available more widely. Whatever the case, Facebook currently has Story-like features on four of its platforms: Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, Messenger Day and WhatsApp Stories. At a time when Snapchat is facing more direct and threatening competition than ever, it’s trying to set itself apart with a new feature that seems useful.