Soon, Snapchat’s 239 million daily active users will have access to a suite of features–including personalized public profiles–that were previously reserved for the app’s verified creators.
This expansion is intended to help Snapchat creators stake a more permanent presence and build out their audiences, the company revealed during its VidCon presentation this afternoon.
Unlike most other social platforms, Snapchat (founded in 2011 as a service for sending short-lived, self-destructing missives) has never allowed its general user base to have front-facing profiles telling random passerbys about them or their content. But over the past year and a half, while ramping up its production of original shows, it has gradually introduced static profiles for traditional celebrities, notable digital stars, official creators of Snapchat Lenses, and brands. These creator and brand profiles, denoted by a gold verification star, contain short bios and rolls of recent content. On the back end, they offer analytics like audience demographics, video view counts, and total watch time.
Now, Snapchat is planning to open all of these features to its entire global user base. The only thing the average creator won’t get is a gold star.
New profiles (an example of which you can see above) will let users display a bio section with an account photo, text description, their location, an email contact, and a URL of their choice. The rest of the profile will contain two tabs: Highlights and Lenses. Highlights is a creator-curated collection of their recent photo/video uploads, and Lenses is a display of everything they’ve published using Snapchat’s Lens Studio.
Also through the profile, users will get access to a related pair of new features–Story Replies and Quoting. With Story Replies, users can respond to one another’s Snapchat Stories (a collection of content posted within the past 24 hours). Creator-side controls allow users to choose whether to allow replies from their followers; if they enable replies, they can auto-hide some responses by filtering them based on a custom list of words, phrases, or emojis. The other feature, Quoting, lets creators share and respond to a follower’s Story Reply. To maintain privacy, users whose replies are shared will be identified only by their profile photo and first name rather than an account link or full display name, Snapchat says.
Last up, all users will get the advanced analytics we mentioned above, plus the ability to open their account to team members and assign those members Roles with different levels of access and control.
Profiles and associated features will roll out to users around the world in the coming months. A subset of creators who have established audiences and histories of abiding by Snapchat’s community guidelines will get the features prior to the wide release, the company says.