Snapchat rolled out a trio of new features today that you will probably have some fun with. The first two are aesthetic tweaks, while the third is an important shift in how Snapchat does some of its business.
First up are backdrops and voice filters. Backdrops work like the scissor tool, letting you cut out objects in the foreground and add a new image behind them. It’s like that macOS Photo Booth filter that never worked exactly right, though Snap is presumably working with much more complex software than what existed a decade ago. Just tap the new Backdrop icon in the Scissor menu to put it to use.
Voice-changing filters have finally been divorced from lenses so you can apply them to any video with sound by tapping the speaker icon after recording a clip.
Lastly, but most foreboding, is the new Paperclip icon, which lets you attach an external web link to your Snaps either to friends or for your Stories. This is big in that it lets any user — not just advertisers — connect their presence on Snapchat to other locations on the web. Users can open an attached link in the app simply by swiping up, kind of like Discover publications. In other words, any brand, corporate or personal, now has the ability to drive traffic to their website through Snapchat, and you’ll likely see a lot more “swipe up for the full story” once it rolls out fully. Media organizations, online celebrities, and e-commerce ops will all be experimenting with how much attention Snapchat can direct to their other presences.