Snapchat Stories are about to get a lot more social.
The app introduced a new feature that finally adds what has long been one of the app’s top-requested features: custom Stories so groups of friends can create shared Stories within the app.
Groups of friends can make two different types of custom Stories: those that are tied to a specific location and those shared directly with a group of friends. In both cases, a custom Story can be active within the app for more than 24 hours, but each piece of content shared to a Story will only be live for 24 hours.
For Stories that are tied to a specific place, the creator of the Story outlines a geofence of about one city block and designates whether they want friends or friends of friends to be able to contribute to the Story.
Once set up, location-based custom Stories will appear within the app to those who have been given access, just like sharing to your own Story or “Our Stories.”
If you want a more private custom Story, you can also opt to create one that will only be shared among specific friends you select. In this case, you can designate which friends can view the Story and who can contribute — regardless of their location.
The features, which are starting to roll out to Snapchat’s apps now, may seem like a relatively minor tweak to Stories, but it should be a significant one. The feature has long been one of the app’s most-requested features, according to Snap.
It also comes at a pivotal time for Snap, which has faced increasing competition from Instagram, on top of its own growing pains since going public earlier this year. The addition of custom Stories not only makes the messaging app, which has traditionally been much more siloed than other social media apps, more social, it gives longtime users another reason to keep coming back.