Snapchat announces new universal search feature for iOS and Android apps

Snapchat today has announced that it’s brining an entirely new search functionality to its iOS and Android apps. The feature will partially solve one of the long-standing complaints about Snapchat, with the company hoping that it will help users quickly find content to explore and new users to add as friends.

Announced via TechCrunch, Snapchat’s new search feature is designed with speed in mind. The search interface can be accessed by tapping the new search bar at the top of the camera interface in the app. From there, you’ll see the option to quick chat with your most frequent friends and groups, view new friends, quickly add new friends, and search for content.

You can search for both new friends and existing friends by name and username. Additionally, you can search for particular daily editions of Snapchat’s partner Discover channels and particular Our Stories by searching for their title.

Tapping and holding on someone’s card brings up a brief overview of their profile, while tapping the card will start a chat with them and tapping the story preview icon will bring up their public story.

In addition to the new search functionalities, Snapchat is also opening up its Our Story to all users. For those unfamiliar, Our Story is Snapchat’s curated story that follows big events, holidays, and places around the world. Previously, Our Story had been restricted in terms of who can submit to it. With this change, however, the company itself can receive content from all users and decide from there how to aggregate it.

One of the long-standing criticisms of Snapchat is the difficulty users have in finding people to follow. While today’s update doesn’t fix the problem, it’s a slight step in the right direction. The service still doesn’t provide suggestions or recommendations as to who to follow, but if you have an idea, it’s now easier to search for them.

Snapchat says its new search and Our Story functionalities are rolling out today for some Android users and will come to all users on both Android and iOS soon. Watch a video showing the new search functionality below.

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