Snap opens its Stories feature to more apps with App Stories

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Evan Spiegel, CEO of SNAP Inc.

Stephen Desaulniers | CNBC

Snap on Tuesday announced the launch of App Stories, which brings the company’s popular Stories feature to apps created by third-party software developers. 

App Stories will allow users to export their Snapchat photos and videos to other apps, theoretically expanding the number of people who can see content from the social app. The new feature could help introduce Snap to more people, helping them company maintain the user growth that is critical to maintaining shareholder confidence and growing the company’s advertising revenue stream. 

The company closed 2019 by reaching 218 million daily active users, up 17% compared to the year prior. Revenue for 2019 was $1.7 billion, up almost 45% from nearly $1.2 billion in 2018. That growth coincided with Snap’s stock price increasing more than 169% in 2019.

Stories, which Snap first introduced in 2013, makes it possible for users to post full-screen photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Facebook’s Instagram cloned the feature in 2016, and Twitter and Microsoft’s LinkedIn are both testing their own clones as well.

At launch, App Stories will be available only on a handful of fairly obscure apps: Social apps Triller and Octi, video-calling app Squad and dating app Hily. Snap is also in talks to bring App Stories to more partners, said Snap VP of Partnerships Ben Schwerin. 

For Snap, the benefit of App Stories is it will bring the company’s content to more places, potentially exposing it to users who don’t currently use Snapchat. Although Snap will not be making money from App Stories at launch, this product gives the company more real estate that can potentially be used to show advertisements. 

“There’s potential down the road for monetization,” Schwerin said. 

Snap argues that App Stories makes it easier for third-party software developers to easily bring Stories features onto their apps by simply using Snapchat’s existing technology. This removes the need for software developers to build their own stories features from scratch. 

“It’s really hard to make a stories product,” Schwerin said. “And we’ve built it so they don’t have to.”

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