Snapchat hit back at its arch-rival Facebook this week with a number of new Group features, including custom stories. Facebook and Instagram both rolled out clone Story options this year, but Snapchat is obviously trying to up the ante in this arena.
Snapchat's latest feature means users can send stories to certain friends, family, and contacts within a geofenced area. If no one adds anything to the group for 24 hours, then the story will disappear like the regular Snapchat Stories.
Snapchat's custom story option is certainly something that should make Facebook sit up and take note. It means that people can share moments from a distance or participate in the same snapping pool. Although users can only create three Snapchat custom stories themselves, they can take part in an unlimited number set up by others.
Users can also invite whoever they want to see and contribute to a custom story in a non-geofenced area. Other friends can be invited to see the story, but not contribute to it. When the story is geofenced, you can opt to allow all friends and even friends of friends in the area to add their two-cents.
This is a great option for weddings or other important events because it doesn't have a viewing only option, which means that anyone at the event can add a snap, unlike the non-geofenced story. So, if you're a guest and you don't know the groom's best man, he can still contribute to the story of their big day.
To create your custom story, simply head to the Stories page, tap "Create Story" plus sign icon (top right). You can also have a look under the "My Story" option in your Friends list to contribute to a custom Story. The new tool has been rolled out to iOS users today and Android customers should reap the benefits of it in the coming days.
But that's not the only thing Snapchat has up its sleeve to fight off the Facebook competition. They also deepened their Bitmoji integration. Users' cartoon avatar can now change its facial expressions when they're making edits.
This is a pretty cool update and a clever move on Snapchat's part, as TechCrunch notes. Bitmoji is rapidly becoming a key part of the Snapchat experience which could help the struggling company to differentiate itself from a rival hellbent on copying their every move.