Though it started as a basic photo-sending app, Snapchat’s new feature may push it into the next realm and help it compete with some of the bigger tech companies around.
On October 10th, the app’s parent company, Snap announced that it will begin to roll out so-called “Context Cards” that will enable users to get information about the places they see in snaps.
To do this, users will simply swipe up to learn more about the location or business from which a snap was sent. The cards will work on snaps from friends as well as one viewed on Snap Maps, and they will include information like location data, menus, phone numbers, reviews, and details on how to make a reservation. The company has also partnered with ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to give users the option to book a ride to that snap’s location.
“With Context Cards, Snaps have become the visual starting point for learning more about the world, empowering our community to get more information about anything that catches their eye,” the Snapchat team posted, according to Forbes. “The billions of Snaps created each day on Snapchat power products like Stories, Search, Snap Map and now, Context Cards. As we learn more about how to improve Context Cards, we’ll be adding more partners and additional information. Stay tuned!”
While the function is not being monetized just yet, it could go that way as the cards are rolled out, Quartz reports.
Snapchat currently has 170 million users, and most of those spend roughly 30 minutes on it each day. While those numbers help drive annual revenue, they still do not come close to the power of companies like Facebook.
Snap hopes the Context Card feature will help bridge that gap by giving people more reasons to use the app. It would not just be a place to share photos anymore. Rather, people could use it to see where their friends are, find good food, or even travel to certain locations in their area.
Though it is impossible to tell how big Context Cards will be, there is no doubt they have some potential. The company states the new tool will soon be available in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.