Snapchat Stories search functionality makes the platform a real-time YouTube

Snapchat is shifting from a social network limited to content shared by people you follow to an ephemeral, real-time database of what’s going on now everywhere. At the end of March, the platform launched Search for Stories submitted to its public Our Stories. It makes Snapchat a go-to platform to discover what the world is sharing, creating near-infinite rabbit holes to get lost in, and a stronger competitor for YouTube and Twitter. This move aligns exactly with Snap Inc’s, it’s parent company, IPO strategy following the slow-down of user growth after the launch of Instagram Stories and Facebook’s other competing clones: Snapchat wants to be where some people spend tons of engagement time, rather than where everyone spends a little time. Indeed, for the time being, there will be no ads, sponsored lenses or sponsored geofilters will appear in the Search collections; making this a play for more engagement, not a new channel to drive more ad views. Crucially, the step change confirms Snapchats ambitions to consolidate its position after having original functionality mimicked by ‘Big Social’ but also its drive to go after video and real-time video sharing social platforms.