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Snapchat Breaks Out of App Shell: Will Let Users Share Some Stories on Web

Snap is taking its first step to tear down Snapchat’s walled garden.

Starting Wednesday, select Snapchat users will be able to access a new feature to share some public Stories — video, image and text posts — on the web, for people who don’t have the messaging and media app. At launch, users will be able to press and hold on tiles in Discover to share Official Stories (from top influencers and partners) as well as user-generated Our Stories and Search Stories.

The move is designed to expand Snapchat’s reach — and to potentially monetize content outside of the app itself. But it’s unclear exactly how much of a lift Snap might see in terms of ad dollars from users sharing Stories on the web.

The feature will begin rolling out to Snapchat users currently on the redesigned app on Wednesday, which is currently available in countries including Australia and Canada (not yet in the U.S.).

The off-app Stories will be accessible via a new Story player on Snapchat.com. The company said Our Stories and Search Stories will be available outside of the Snapchat app for 30 days, while Official Stories (posted by top influencers on the platform) will be available outside of Snapchat for 24 hours.

Word of Snap’s move to open up Snapchat Stories on the web leaked in late December.

Here’s an example of what Snapchat Stories on the web will look like:

Snapchat first launched the Our Stories feature in June 2014. Currently, Snapchat users create more than 3.5 billion Snaps per day, according to the company.

By opening up Stories to the web, Snap envisions a way for content on its platform to go more broadly viral — the way Twitter and Instagram posts have captured real-time news and cultural events. News organizations, for example, could link to Snapchat Stories on the web, while celebrities will be able to share their personal Snaps outside of the app.

 

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