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Snapchat Is About to Get Less Raw — And Way More Addictive

Snapchat's new feature, Memories, brings big changes: It sacrifices some of Snapchat's killer "raw" element while enticing users to spend more time in the app.

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Today, Snapchat is introducing a new feature, called Memories, that will change the way you experience the app.

Memories lets you save snaps and Stories inside Snapchat, edit them, and send them out again.

You can still save snaps and Stories to your camera roll, but the tools inside Memories will give you a chance to edit your old stuff and push it out again. You'll even be able to combine that stuff with photos and videos from your camera roll. (Think of the #TBT options!) This update will make Snapchat feel a little less raw and in-the-moment, and a little more polished and, err, stale. That's a big deal, and we'll get into it later. But first, here's a rundown of how to use Memories:

To save a snap to Memories, you can click the save button on the camera screen (or set your snaps to auto-save in settings).

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A swipe up on the camera screen brings you into the Memories module, where you see all your saved snaps and Stories.

Within Memories, you can edit your saved snaps and Stories and turn them into new snaps and Stories.

Piece together these snaps and you can create a new story from them.

You can change the geofilters from the day you first posted this Snap, or add new text like #TBT.

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Another key change: Inside Memories, you can import photos and videos from your camera roll, and post them to your Story for the first time ever.

You could already send stuff from your camera roll in private snaps. But this is new.

Here's a GIF of someone adding snap from Memories to their Story.

Oh, by the way, there's also a new feature that lets you save password-protected snaps, called My Eyes Only.

Snapchat designed Memories for scenarios where you'd pass your phone around in real life to share your photos with someone. With My Eyes Only, you can hand over your phone without fear that your friends will see your embarrassing selfies. Or your nudes.

You're going to feel Memories' influence throughout Snapchat. Here's what will probably happen:

Snapchat will get more addicting

Posts from Snapchat are regularly repurposed. On any given day, you're likely to encounter saved snaps on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. People post snaps to other networks because they don't want to constrain themselves to one network. But they also post them elsewhere because saving a snap to a camera roll can feel like tossing it into the abyss. Posting a snap to Instagram, however, can give it a sense of permanence and organization. By creating Memories, Snapchat is building its own home for these old snaps. Whether it's the company's intention or not, Memories will create an avenue within Snapchat for people to do what they're doing with snaps outside, namely: save, organize, edit, republish. The likely result: more time inside Snapchat, less in other apps.

Snapchat will get less raw and more polished

One of Snapchat's killer qualities is its rawness, which is sure to diminish with this update. Before Memories, every image or video you posted to a Story had to be spontaneously shot inside the app. So while other social platforms filled up with pictures of perfects sunsets and tightly edited videos, Snapchat became home to the weird, imperfect stuff that makes social fun (disappearing content also had something to do with this). Now that people will be able to reach into their camera roll, and create stories from content shot over multiple days, Snapchat will start to host more edited and controlled content. This will absolutely change the feel of the platform.

Snapchat may get a higher bar for posting

Facebook is experiencing a decline in original sharing, according to reports, with some arguing that an excess of professional, curated content on the platform is scaring users off from sharing. If your video is going to be sandwiched between one from The Rock and another from the BBC, you may be less inclined to post it. One of Snapchat’s great qualities its users don’t feel like they — or their snaps — need to look perfect. Even DJ Khaled, Snapchat’s biggest star, posts stories you can tell are shot inside the same app you’re using. But if these new tools lead to more polished content spreading through Snapchat, the platform may encounter a problem similar to Facebook’s.

Memories will begin rolling out in California today, with a goal of becoming available worldwide within a month.

Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.

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