Snapchat Have Ditched a Long Standing Policy in Their Latest Update

Since it first came bursting into the world in a bright yellow flash, one of the key rules of Snapchat was that you couldn't post links. This rule has gradually faded away on other platforms, particularly Instagram, and until now Snapchat had stuck to it. In the most recent update, they've finally relented, and they've added a few other new features as well.

The link sharing tool itself is called Paperclip. It's pretty basic, you just tap the symbol in the toolkit when your posting a snap and the option to include a link will appear, all you have to do then it paste it into the box. There's a few different reasons why you might add a link to a snap, as a promotional tool, to link out to a meme or funny video or just to give a snap an extra layer of depth. All links will open in Snapchat's internal browser, and they'll be vetted to make sure that people don't start firing off anything awful or inappropriate.

Alongside this welcome change, two further, more cosmetic additions have emerged. The first is called Backdrops, and as the name suggests, it allows you to paint a background onto an image before snapping it. It works like a more simplified version of the old extract tool from Photoshop, you superimpose a preset background onto the image and then draw around anyone/thing that you want to appear in the foreground. The backdrops which are available change on a daily basis.

The second addition is a voice modulator. Following the same 'just call it what it is' Ronseal ethos that Snapchat are running with, it's just called Voice Filters. When in video mode, a speaker icon offers a range of different vocal distortions, from cat to robot to bumble bee, with more likely to be added further down the line. Vocal distortion had previously been available, but only through augmented reality filters.

In the instance of the links, this is a rare case of Snapchat doing something after Instagram, but it doesn't feel like copying so much as relenting, keeping up with trends. How well the links will integrate into the Snapchat experience is another matter, a big part of the reason why they were never included before was to keep the experience seamless, this may interfere with that.

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