Stories Search makes Snapchat a real-time YouTube

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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.

It started as a social network that was limited to content being shared by people you follow but now it is increasing its dimensions. It is now trying to become a platform where you can follow a real-time database of what goes on around the world. Today the company announced ‘Search for stories’ and this feature is surely going to give YouTube and Twitter a tough competition.

In January, Snapchat opened the ability to submit to Our Story from people in certain locations, like big events, or at certain times, like Christmas, to everyone everywhere all the time. But this meant it was pulling in way more content than its human curators could package into specific, widely visible Our Stories like ones for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or the NBA Finals.

Now, Snapchat is using algorithms to scan the caption text, time and visual elements found in Snaps submitted to Our Story and group them by theme.

Snapchat says that to categorize the stories, machine learning is used. The feature will be rolled out in selective cities of U.S. and users will be able to search for public Our Stories. Ads, sponsored lenses, sponsored geofilters will not appear in the Search option for the time being.

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