Snapchat Expands Messaging Options

Snapchat has long been known for its ephemeral messaging experience where photos and messages disappear after being viewed. However, the platform has recognized some users want more control over their conversations. In an effort to better meet these needs, Snapchat is testing a new feature that allows opting out of auto-deleting messages for individual chats.

The test currently underway in select international markets gives participants the ability to select a "never delete" setting for specific conversations. When enabled, the messages exchanged will no longer automatically disappear after 24 hours as they typically do on Snapchat. All users involved in the chat can update these retention settings at any time to switch between auto-delete and keeping the history of their dialogue.

While ephemerality is still core to Snapchat's design philosophy, the company understands messaging needs are not one-size-fits-all. Many Snapchat users rely on the platform as their primary chat tool, similar to the role services like Facebook Messenger or Apple's iMessage play in people's communication habits. By offering an alternative to the default expiring messages, Snapchat aims to provide more flexibility that appeals to those seeking features of traditional messaging apps.

Giving users control over how long their conversations last could help broaden Snapchat's reach, especially among older age groups. Demographics who have grown accustomed to permanently storing text history on other services may feel more comfortable fully engaging with Snapchat long-term now that there is an option for retained messages. Retaining active users as they age is important for platforms, as it increases the potential customer lifetime value and opportunities to generate ad revenue over time.

Of course, only the results of Snapchat's experiment will determine if offering non-expiring chats impacts perceptions of the app's signature ephemeral brand. But testing minor changes like this allows evaluating user reception and gathering feedback without fully disrupting the core service experience all at once. And by confining the new setting to function within individual talks only, Snapchat maintains oversight over how the overall platform interface and default experience will evolve, if at all.

Whether the "never delete" message option expands to the main Snapchat app depends on what is learned from this test. But the update demonstrates the company's commitment to thoughtfully innovating based on listener feedback from its community. Both retaining loyal long-time users as their needs change, and broadening appeal to new potential customer demographics, are smart moves that can fuel further business growth.

For social media marketers, strategic experimentation is important to stay adaptable in this dynamic industry landscape. Be sure to take full advantage of all the campaign optimization and results tracking tools available in our Great SMM panel to help you improve engagement and drive real business outcomes. Regularly reviewing performance metrics and making data-driven decisions will help you deliver the best possible experience for your target audiences.