Traffic is moving in the opposite direction as Instagram has ended up being copied with the Snapchat @mentions update debuting today.
Long awaited, it is unclear why Snapchat chose to exercise restraint but have finally granted their users the ability to tag, give shoutouts and do other arbitrary, but interesting things with their friends. The Snapchat @mentions update is still not officially being rolled out to all their users, but the company has confirmed they are testing it.
Opting not to comment on it further beyond the confirmation, Snap Inc. has hit a bit of a rough patch as they were forced to lay off more than 120 employees in an attempt to slightly scale the quarterly loss mountain.
First spotted by Matt Rappaport, and consequently reported by Cheddar and TechCrunch in that order, Rappaport was one of the few to have access to the new tests. Looking at the screenshots where Rappaport tagged himself, a ‘More’ option appears below. Swiping up reveals the tagged person’s profile information, an Add button, Snapscore, and other details.
Currently, the people with access to the Beta tests can both, tag people in Snaps, and shall receive a notification about it, but it suffices to say that upon a global rollout, notifications for @mentions will appear.
About the Snapchat @mentions update, Virginia Salas Kastilio aka @Ginicanbreathe, one of the world’s top Snapchatters who formerly ran the BBC’s account, tells, “From just one shoutout, I could get as much as 25% of someones audience on Snapchat to follow me. This was with manual username entry or Snapcodes. Being able to now click on the username and add directly? Game-freakin-changer.”
The Snapchat @mentions have the potential to act as a ‘suggestor’ of sorts leading to a lot of interactions between new ‘friends of friends’ and it would be interesting to see how the new update pans out.
With Instagram ruthlessly eroding the Snapchat user base, both regular users and Influencers, the original ephemeral messaging platform is not out of the rough waters just yet.
A stagnant user base, and a bad quarter aren’t small problems but the loyalty of their young users and consistent creative updates have managed to keep things from getting as worse as they could have.