Snap Launches Snap Camera App for Mac With Twitch, Skype, and YouTube Integration

Snap today announced the launch of Snap Camera for Mac, which brings Snapchat's well-known collection of lenses and filters to Macs and PCs.

The Snap Camera app, which can be downloaded from Snapchat's website, offers up a simple interface with a camera field and access to hundreds of Snapchat lenses that add fun effects to your face using the Mac's camera.


The different lenses available in new Snap Camera app for Mac can be used with Twitch when streaming video content, and it is compatible with YouTube, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom as well. Using the lenses does not require a Snapchat account.

Snap's new Snap Camera app features lenses created by Snap, lenses from third-party companies, and lenses created using the Lens Studio tool for Snapchat.


Lenses are available in a list in the app that you can scroll through, but there are also options to search for lenses by keyword, mark favorites, or assign lenses to shortcuts.

Snap Camera is a free download from the Snap website.

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Snapchat Rolls Back Some Interface Changes to Appease Disgruntled Users

Snapchat has adjusted its iOS app interface to placate a large number of dedicated users who complained about the recent redesign, reports The Verge.

Snap unveiled its radical redesign in November with the goal of creating a personalized user experience that's easier to navigate, especially for newcomers. But the change didn't go down well with many long-time users, so much so that 1.2 million of them signed a petition asking the company to walk back the UI changes.


Snap initially responded to the outcry in February by acknowledging that "the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many", but went no further than to reassure users that they would eventually adapt to the changes over time.

However, it appears the company has now decided to roll back at least some of the adjustments it originally made as part of last year's redesign. For example, Snaps and Chats have gone back to appearing in chronological order, while Stories from friends have reverted to their original location at the right-hand side of the interface.

Similarly, Snapchat now opens in camera mode, as it did prior to the redesign, and users can again swipe left to view the latest friend posts. Elsewhere, a separate subscriptions feed lets users search separately for stories by publishers and popular content creators. The changes come in an update to the iOS app that the company says is currently rolling out to users.

Snap originally made the changes to appeal to a broader demographic and expand its user base, in the hope of fending off the threat of encroaching rivals like Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram.

However, the company's first quarter earnings suggest the strategy has so far failed to boost earnings, with Snap making less money per user despite having grown its global user base by around four million over the previous quarter.

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Snapchat Launches ‘Snappables’ Augmented Reality Games That Can Be Played With Friends

Snapchat today announced the launch of Snappables, which are new Snapchat Lenses that are designed to allow Snapchat users to play augmented reality games with their friends.


Interactive Snappable lenses are located right near other Snapchat Lenses in the Lens Carousel and can be accessed by tapping the icon on the left side of the capture button.

To use a Snappable, tap the Snappable icon and then follow the on-screen directions.

Some of the available Snappables let you create a dance party or a rock band with friends, while others are more game-like in nature and can be controlled through facial expressions, touch, and motion. You can play a game where you fight virtual aliens, for example, and then send a Snap to a friend to play along.


According to a Snapchat spokesperson, Snappables are the beginning of a new type of augmented reality experience on Snapchat. Prior to now, Lenses have focused on transforming your look or the world around you, while Snappables are sharable AR experiences.

In other Snapchat-related news, Snapchat parent company Snap is said to be planning to introduce new Spectacles later in the week. Little is known about the new glasses, and it's not yet clear if they will feature major design changes.

Snapchat can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Snapchat Plans Radical Overhaul to Make Social Platform Easier to Understand

Longtime Snapchat users should prepare themselves for a radical overhaul of the way the mobile app works, based on comments made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in his earnings letter to investors on Tuesday.

With the company falling short of lowered projections for growth, Snap put much of the blame on the fact that the social platform is simply a mystery to outsiders. "One thing we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use," wrote Spiegel. "Our team has been working on responding to this feedback."


Few details were provided on the planned redesign, but Snapchat said it was working on an algorithm to show people a more personalized version of the stories they might want to see.
"We are developing a new solution that provides each of our 178 million daily active users with their own Stories experience," wrote Spiegel, "leveraging the tremendous benefits of machine learning without compromising the editorial integrity of the Stories platform that we have worked so hard to build."
Spiegel said that the changes would make it easier for users to see content from people who aren't their friends, but that private conversations between close friends would remain a bulwark of the app.

The esoteric nature of the social platform has apparently moved Snap to make these drastic changes, but the danger is that it could alienate existing users. However, Spiegel said the company was willing to bear the consequences.
"There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don't yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application," Spiegel said in his prepared remarks to investors. "We're willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business."
Snap's third quarter revenue was $207.9 million, not the $235.5 million analysts had predicted. Shares fell as much as 22 percent in extended trading as a result, before recovering slightly to trade down 17 percent.

Sales estimates for Snap have been dropping since its March initial public offering, with the company apparently unable to clearly explain to advertisers how Snapchat works, despite providing investors with detailed instructions during its initial PO. The lack of a news feed and no ability to share, like, or comment on posts has apparently proved a stumbling block.

Against this backdrop, Facebook's habit of copying Snapchat features and building them into its own apps has only weakened the uniqueness of Snap's offering in the social media landscape - a key factor of the company's business model. It remains to be seen exactly what a redesign will mean for Snapchat and its users, and no timeline for the rollout has been made public.

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