You can now search for Snap Stories by place and topic.
The options are endless: "Puppies," "Atlanta Falcons," your favorite bar, "spring break," "election day," etc. The feature launches today in Miami and will roll out later in other cities, though Snap declined to specify exactly when and where.
In a blog post released Friday, Snap said its curation team had become "overwhelmed" by the number of Stories people had produced and submitted to the collective, localized Our Story feature, so the company decided to allow users to search for them on their own:
We’ve built a new way to understand what’s happening in Snaps that are submitted to Our Story, and to create new Stories using advanced machine learning. The results have been amazing: you can search over one million unique Stories on Snapchat!
According to a Snap spokesperson, the Stories you can search for cast a much wider net for Stories than the professionally curated Our Stories, Publisher Stories, and Shows that you’ll still see in “Discover” and “Featured” sections throughout the app. Snaps shown in Our Stories typically focus on big events, like the Grammys, the Super Bowl, or a presidential debate.
In 2016, Snap acquired the search engine Vurb for $114.5 million. The company said it developed its new Search feature in-house. Snap said the new feature works by algorithmically identifying what’s happening in submitted Stories based on things like caption text, time, and visual elements.
The change comes as Facebook is creating a Stories-esque feature in all of its flagship apps: Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, and, most recently, Facebook.