Snapchat released a new update yesterday allowing users to search for friends and groups. The update adds a universal search bar at the top of the app to search for stories and discover new publishers.
The update is rolling out across Android and will be added to iOS soon.
A quick click allows users to view friends to talk to in a quick chat and new friends that the user had added. Users can add new friends quickly with the search displaying current and new friends on the same search page. A small profile icon is present to help users identify their friends.
Users can keep snapping while looking for friends or new people to engage with.
“Quick Chat” suggestions allow users to chat with friends, view their story and do it all from the same screen. There’s no reason to swipe left to find the chat screen and swipe right to get to a user’s story. The update aims to make snapping faster.
Groups are displayed on the screen also. Improved search functionality allows brands and influencers to build their brand faster.
Users can navigate to their own profile by clicking on their own Bitmoji icon on the left. The story thumbnail is clickable and allows users to start watching their friend’s recent stories, too. Click and hold on a user’s card and a mini profile will display.
Daily additions are displayed for Discover channels.
People users chat with most will be part of their “best friends” list. There’s also a recent list underneath to send personal snaps to others to make sending snaps faster.
Snapchat is often criticized because of the difficulty users have trying to find new accounts to follow. The universal search bar eliminates these hardships, allowing users to quickly find new content to consume.
The addition of a universal search adds additional advertising potential for the company. No plans for ads in universal search have been discussed, but there is potential for paid search displays.