Competing for users’ short attention spans, Snapchat, Instagram and their rivals are engaged in a feature-focused arms race.
About a week after Instagram debuted Boomerang -- a new app that loops 1-second videos -- Snapchat is rolling out some video-editing features of its own.
With the new "Speed Modifiers," Snapchat users can post videos in slow-motion, fast-forward or reverse.
Like Snapchat’s other filtering options, the new features are pretty straightforward. After users record a video, they just swipe across their screens until arriving at a preferred editing option.
The video-editing features should compliment Snapchat’s popular lenses, which augment people’s pictures and videos in the oddest ways. A “Puking Rainbows” lens, for instance, dilates a users’ eyes to the size of large saucers, and then spews glittery rainbow vomit from their mouth.
The company currently claims to have 100 million users who watch 2 billion videos per day, suggesting it could be a serious rival to YouTube and Facebook.
As part of its broader business strategy, Snapchat is reportedly in the process of selling its lenses to select sponsors. As sources recently told the Financial Times, the social network could soon charge up to $750,000 for a brand to reach its entire audience of roughly 100 million users on a “peak day” like Halloween or the Super Bowl, and closer to $450,000 on average days.
Among marketers, however, Instagram appears to be top dog. This year, 32.3% of U.S. companies with 100 employees or more will use Instagram for marketing activities, according to recent findings from eMarketer.
That number will jump to 48.8% in 2016, and, by 2017, increase to 70.7% of U.S. companies, eMarketer predicts. Instagram will then overtake Twitter for the first time in terms of popularity among marketers, if the forecast holds out.
Snapchat recently raised an additional $537 million in new funding, which valued the company at $16 billion -- prompting renewed scrutiny of its business model and potential profitability.
Also this week, Snapchat added 3D Touch capabilities for users of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The changes make it easier for users to chat with friends and add new ones.