Super popular image messaging app Snapchat is releasing a universal search bar designed to make it easier to navigate the app and find friends, groups, Discover publishers and Our Stories, as noted in a recent article from TechCrunch. The universal search bar always features at the top of the app and allows users to quickly search for content and conversations whilst snapping their own stories.
Snapchat has received continued criticism over its confusing layout since the app’s initial release back in 2011. Users originally had to swipe to access content and move around, and the company only added navigation buttons during a June 2016 update. The new universal search bar adds another method for users to quickly find what they’re looking for.
A new and improved visual interface and “Quick Chat” suggestions lets users quickly move between message threads and stories, while tapping your Bitmoji icon found to the left of the universal search bar will bring you straight to your own profile. Tapping a friend’s search result or auto-suggest card starts a conversation with them, and tapping their Story thumbnail plays it full screen. Tap and hold on a friend’s card to see their mini profile, and use the universal search bar to find specific daily editions of Discover channels or specific Our Stories. Users will also be able to see the friends they Snap with most often in their profile.
The new universal search bar could also provide a new method for revenue for Snapchat, as advertisers and publishers would likely consider paying for sponsored placement at the top of search results, or as search suggestions.
Snapchat’s universal search bar feature launches today and will be available for a number of Android users. Snapchat will fully launch the feature for all Android and iOS users in the very near future.