The big, fresh and shiny update for Snapchat hit mobile users recently, and the talk of the town is the new Memories feature. Memories allows you to save photos and videos you take within Snapchat into a photo album within the app, edit and send them solo or grouped together at a later time and even upload photos and videos from your phone’s camera roll into the Snapchat Memories bank so you can Snapchat-ify them and publish them to your Story. Reaction to this new update has been mixed and lukewarm – I fall firmly on the opposed side, as I think Memories blows up the premise of what makes Snapchat so unique in the social media image sharing landscape. Here are my reasons why Memories totally defeats the purpose of Ghostface Chillah’s app:
1. It’s Unnecessarily Complicated
In order to get a photo or video you take within Snapchat saved into the Memories storage bank, you have to click on the little downward pointing arrow that’s been a staple in Snapchat for quite sometime. However, that arrow, which used to let you save your Snaps directly to your phone’s camera roll, now solely sends the Snaps to your Memory bank.
So now, in order to save a Snapchat to your phone’s actual memory and camera roll, you have to go into Memories, click on the Snap you wish to save, hit the “Edit & Send” button, then navigate to the icon in the top left corner and export the Snap to your phone. This a tiresome, unnecessary and annoying process, especially considering how easy it was to save Snaps to your phone before. Thanks a lot, Memories!
2. It Doesn’t Make Sense as a Storage Bank
Apparently, the whole concept behind Memories is to have a photo album and archive built directly into Snapchat that you can show off to your friends. Why Snapchat thinks we need a second or third or even fourth social media and mobile photo gallery and album feature is beyond me. I mean, how many people already sit down and scroll through their camera roll or Instagram profile or Facebook albums to show off all their photos to other people? Very few, I’m guessing – I know I never have.
Adding an extra space to save photos just makes it more difficult to keep track of them all, and no one wants to take the time to toggle through multiple photo albums to find that one picture. Also, it’s a little pretentious – let other people decide if they want to spend their valuable time looking at all your photos. It would make more sense if Memories was public and people could view it like a Story, but as a semi-private album, it’s relatively useless.
3. It Goes Against What Makes Snapchat…Snapchat
With Memories granting users the ability to not only save Snaps in order to edit and send them out at a later date, but also the ability to upload photos from one’s camera roll and send out over Snapchat, the whole premise and notion of what makes Snapchat fun and unique is wiped away. Snapchat is the anti-Instagram, but Memories places it that much closer to the carefully filtered and meticulously edited and obsessed over shots that litter Instagram.
The refreshing fun of Snapchat is that is promotes in-the-moment spontaneity. The photos themselves are ethereal in nature, vanishing in 10 seconds or lasting but a day in one’s Story. They’re meant to be digested, enjoyed and forgotten. Having Memories is the antithesis to the Snapchat brand and model of social sharing. Snapchat also promotes a much-needed lack of artifice in our heavily edited, curated and displayed social worlds, but Memories flies in the face of that too.
By giving us crazy filters that make us look goofy and insane, Snapchat was meant to be the cooler, looser, no-fucks-given alternative to Instagram’s polished aesthetic and relentless engagement grasping. There’s no pressure to get hearts, followers or look picture perfect on Snapchat. But with Memories, Snapchat loses much of what made it an edgy platform in our social media saturated world and gets unoriginally closer to many of the things (*coughInstagramcough*) that we already use.