Snapchat quietly updated its iOS and Android apps over the weekend, bringing a host of new features. And among the new filters, font and front-facing flash is a new function that many Snapchatters might find a bit troubling: Replay.
Just how does it work? Exactly as it sounds. Replay allows Snapchat users to replay one snap every 24 hours. In order to access the feature, you’ll need to install the update and navigate your way to the Manage Additional Services menu. From there you can turn the feature on. But by turning it on, it only means that you’ll be able to replay snaps. You’re not given the option to decide if recipients can replay the snaps you send — that permission is granted by default, and there’s no way to change it.
I can see how this feature can be helpful at times, like when you can’t quite hear what’s being said in a message. Ultimately, though, this seems counterintuitive to the idea of Snapchat, adding a bit of permanence to a technology built on ephemerality.
I didn’t really feel like this when the company introduced its Stories function back in October, allowing you to create a 24-hour vanishing timeline. But that’s because you’re able to opt into or out of Stories. With Replay, you can’t decide whether you want someone to replay your snaps, and you don’t receive notification that they’ve been replayed, either. I’m curious to see if this is a feature that sticks around for long.
That said, if you ever want to share something private, a good general rule is to keep it off of the internet in the first place. But for everyone else out there with nothing to hide, the update can be downloaded now from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Update: The FTC says Snapchat’s claim that photos “disappear forever” are false, and also accused the company of violating privacy and security standards. It announced a settlement on May.