Snapchat has long been a one-stop app for recording, editing and viewing photos and videos. But the results haven’t always been elegant.
Now, features launching Tuesday along with other recent additions are starting to elevate Snapchat’s editing tools to near the same level as the most sophisticated of editing software, including Adobe Creative Suite.
Take, for example, the magic eraser Snapchat is introducing. Rubbing a Snapchat photo with the tool wipes away unwanted items from an image and replaces the area with a pattern matching the surrounding background.
The tool helps clean up images, making it easier to share the shot you want without any photo-bombing bystanders in the background.
It’s safe to bet the company will try to bring similar erasing functionality to videos.
Another tool from the Adobe Photoshop playbook is the ability to customize brushes beyond the standard circles and squares. Snapchat users can now paint with a streak of emojis.
Expanding editing capabilities could reduce the reasons users open other apps, giving the company a greater share of their screentime and more room to show ads.
Two features launching Tuesday appear to draw inspiration from the now-defunct Twitter app Vine and the Instagram app Boomerang. Both replay a single video in an endless loop, which Snapchat users can now do too.
Snapchat will also give users the ability to view photos on their screen indefinitely. Previously, users could make photos viewable for a maximum of 10 seconds. After a viewer closes out of a limitless photo, it is automatically deleted as usual on Snapchat.
The moves add to aggressive competition between Instagram and Snapchat that’s seen each borrow from the other’s well-received features. Investors are worried that Instagram’s copying may be cutting into Snapchat usage. Snapchat developer Snap Inc. could beat back those concerns when it reports first-quarter financial results Wednesday — its first earnings announcement as a publicly traded company.
Snap hinted its innovation is far from over. Its move Tuesday to relocate Snapchat’s creative tools options from the top of the app to the right edge provides “a foundation for introducing even more creative tools,” Snap said.