Snapchat 6.1

New Smart Filters, Replay, Front-Facing Flash & More.

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Hunter Owens
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Adam Besvinick — VC at Deep Fork Capital
Replay? Am I opting in to letting my snaps get replayed or am I enabling the ability for me to replay snaps.

I always felt like this was an easy monetization win for Snapchat. I bet they'd make a mint if users had to pay a dime to replay a snap.
Hunter Owens — Strategy at Relcy
@Besvinick You're allowing others to replay your snaps. But they're only able to replay it once a day, not continuously.
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
According to the release notes:

What's New in Version 6.1.0
Introducing Additional Services

Smart Filters - Add data overlays to your Snaps!
Visual Filters
Special Text
Front-Facing Flash
Up to 7 Best Friends

To enable additional services go to Settings > Additional Services > Manage
Hunter Owens — Strategy at Relcy
I don't think these new features were implemented very well though. A friend just messaged me and said "How do you use any of these new features?" Snapchat is supposed to be a dead simple app. They should have been enabled by default and had a brief walkthrough.
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
I just spent 5 minutes trying to find how to use the new features to find that they must be enabled in the settings menu first. Clearly this is non-intuitive and most people wouldn't think to look there. But Snapchat isn't stupid. They probably did this intentionally to increase word-of-mouth for the same reason as their easter eggs (
Libby Brittain — At Facebook with the Branch team
Data overlays? Confused in concept, but maybe not in practice.
Adam Besvinick — VC at Deep Fork Capital
The app update notes tell you that the features can be activated in settings.

@rrhoover, I think you're giving them too much credit, frankly. These aren't meant to be Easter eggs. Replay, particularly, isn't explained at all.
Ryan Lawler — Venture Partner, 500 Startups
I haven't tried the new features, but this seems pretty horrible. I can't imagine wanting to use any of these things.
Owen Williams — Special Projects at Crew
Most confusing implementation ever - cool ideas and big deal for the company but feels like they're fundamentally worried about changing the basics of Snapchat. Why else would you herald a "big update" but then just hide the features behind obscure names like "services" or require them to be manually enabled? The overlays are things that people have wanted for a while...
Oh man, I couldn't disagree more.

1. They probably put it in Settings because addicted users will turn them on and test their value for everyone else. That way you can be experimental without adding feature baggage (cough cough Facebook).

2. The smart filters are great! Snapchat is about communicating about where you are - time/weather/MPH(!) with zero UI additions; how is that not a win?

3. Three more text options (for emphasis, etc.) in only a single button - great.
I think (3) is the most ingenious part and look to other popular services to copy. For now, it's buried in Settings. In the next update, the winners will become defaults and the losers will disappear without anyone but a tiny fraction of the user base knowing.
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
@joshm - great points and I tend to agree with you. It's incredibly non-intuitive BUT that works to their advantage by not "forcing" users to change their behavior (yet) and increase WOM (as mentioned earlier).

That said, they should have provided instruction on how to use the new features. Even after enabling, I couldn't figure out how to use filters until someone told me.
Owen Williams — Special Projects at Crew
Good point @joshm - I agree. Perhaps they're betting on early adopters trying out the features and them becoming popular over time, then eventually setting them as default in the next update. The weirdest thing to me is that they don't explain the features at all, but I'm wondering if that's on purpose in order to excite people when they discover how to use them...
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
TC writer, @JoshConstine, isn't a fan of replay (

"A big draw of Snapchat was that once someone had viewed your Snap, it only lived on in their imperfect memory. That made sending them carefree and lightweight — something I’d without second guessing what could happen. That encouraged the silly and racy behavior Snapchat thrives on, and set it apart from other photo sharing services that create a permanent record you have to worry about."

Thing is, Snapchat isn't forcing this on anyone -- they're giving the users control of their experience and ephemerality less important than its core innovations: one-to-one-to-many and speed.

Josh Elman — Partner, Greylock
I wish you could reorder comments so @joshm appears on top. Snapchat is and always has been about word of mouth. This just extends that. If I get a snap with a new font or speed I will immediately ask "how did you do that" and let the education begin
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
@joshelman YUP!

At the risk of sounding like a vain, self-promotional machine, I recently wrote about word-of-mouth and tactics used by Square (h/t @JaredSF), Shazam, Clarity, and others to grow.

P.S. Comment upvoting and threading is coming!
Mike Coutermarsh — Code @ Product Hunt
I'm so incredibly jealous of iphone users. Smart filters, such a cool way to communicate more about what you're doing.
Will Dennis — Founder, Hollerback
All of these updates are to encourage and enable more frequent and interesting use of Stories.

Data filters (esp time and weather) make perfect sense for adding context to a multi-snap story.

Replay actually discourages use of private messaging - not only is publishing to stories already quicker (1 button post) but the privacy advantage of messaging is now undermined.

As far as implementation, these features are for story creators aka power users - learned functionality that's quick to use makes great sense.

Overall, this signals a move towards a visual twitter / broadcast end game. Oh yeah, doubling your ad impressions with replay doesn't hurt.
Buster — PM, Slack
I agree with @joshm's comments and also everyone confused about replay. I think snapchat has a love/hate relationship with their product's sacred cow (friends, then stories, now replay) and think that they are stuck in a weird world where their biggest strength could also be their strongest weakness.
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
I just published my thoughts about Snapchat 6.1 in FastCo -

h/t @owens, @joshm, @joshelman, @buster, @willydennis, @ow, @Besvinick, @ryanlawler. Discuss!
Adam Kazwell — Product manager/observer
"I think snapchat has a love/hate relationship with their product's sacred cow" post worthy idea @buster
Ryan Hoover — Product Hunt
About a month later, I'm still really digging this update. I've been getting super creative (lol) creating "snapchat art" by combining emoji's and filters. E.g.

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