Imagine your older self-reliving the good old days by sharing Snapchat videos with all your old buddies. You'd all laugh at the foolish things you did, or marvel that you were ever that young. It would be a great way to indulge in some group nostalgia.
But sharing old video and photo memories captured on Snapchat has never been possible.
That's because as we all know, Snapchat videos ("Snaps") are only temporary, allowing you a mere fleeting glimpse into the moments of your and your friends' lives. Snaps disappear within seconds or if they're saved as Stories, up to 24 hours.
But all that changed this Summer, when Snapchat rolled out "Memories".
What is "Memories" in Snapchat?
Introducing Snapchat Memories, which is Snapchat's way of giving users permanent access to the snaps and photos they want to keep. Now you can relive your finest Snapchat moments over and over.
Also, thanks to this new feature, you can also send saved Snaps to your friends, even if those Snaps were taken forever ago. Sure, you've been saving your Stories on your phone, but what happens when your storage is full? Or worse yet, what happens when you lose your phone? , your Snapchat Stories are gone forever.
With Memories, your stuff is saved on Snapchat servers, accessible from any device and safe from the inherent dangers of only saving stuff locally. And yes, you could have in the past been saving your Snaps somewhere on the Cloud for multi-device access, but that's clunky when you want to share or view them again.
Plus, saving to a non-Snapchat cloud server means you're dependent on a third party for all your memories (that's with a lower-case "m"!). Now, viewing, saving, sharing, sending, and curating your Snaps will be far easier, since it can all be done from within the Snapchat app.
Why Did Snapchat Create Memories?
In the past, the only way to permanently save videos and photos was to use a third-party app. When Snapchat realized this was taking users out of Snapchat and into other apps, they realized they were missing out.
One goal of app developers is, of course, to keep users inside their app for as long as possible. The longer they remain in the app, engaged, the better chance the app owner has of achieving some end goal.
At first, Snapchat didn't even give the capability for users to save their Snaps in their Camera Rolls. Once they made this possible, however, they realized this still wasn't enough for super users who loved their Snaps so much they wanted to share them again and again well into the future.
So, Memories was created.
What's the Coolest Thing About Snapchat Memories?
Before we get to how to use Snapchat Memories, here's one more thing you should know. It's something almost nobody is talking about, yet it's perhaps the most incredible aspect of Memories: you can search your memories using time, location, or... drum roll please: keyword search.
The keyword search is powered by object recognition software, so this is actually one of the most exciting features for tech geeks and super Snapchat users.
So for example, let's say you've been saving Memories for a year now. You're at a family reunion and you want to show everyone the Snap you saved that shows your dog performing an amazing feat. Having no idea when you shot the Snap, you can type "dog" into the keyword search feature and all your Snaps containing dogs will appear.
Here's a fun possible use for keyword search for your Memories: does it mean you can dredge up every Snap you ever took of your ex, and delete them? Or send them to her (or him) and then delete them? If you've had success doing this, please comment below and tell us about it!
If you had enabled the locations while you shot a Snap, you could also narrow things down by searching for the location, if you can remember it. This means you can view every Snap you ever took in Mexico in 2013 of tacos... provided the object recognition has learned to recognize "tacos" by now.
Ready to give Memories a try? Here's how to use Memories so you can save, curate, and share your stuff forever.
How To Use Snapchat Memories
1. Get Your Phone Ready
First, you'll want to make sure your Snapchat app is actually ready for the Memories feature. That's a simple matter of updating the app. Once the newest version is installed, it's then a toss-up as to whether your account yet has access. That's because Memories is being rolled out to users in waves (as of Summer 2016, that is).
You'll know your account is ready for Memories because you will receive a snap from the folks at Snapchat telling you about it.
2. Making Memories
If you've been using Snapchat, the way you save your Snaps hasn't changed. Take a Snap, then tap the down arrow at the bottom of the screen. Your Snap is now saved to Memories forever, on Snapchat servers.
Before the launch of the Memories feature, tapping that down arrow meant you were saving the Snap to your Camera Roll.
3. Accessing the Memories Screen
To access Memories, log into Snapchat and swipe up from the main screen. You'll then see a screen that says Welcome to Memories. Then you will be asked if you want to import your saved Snaps.
The reason you'll need to import Memories is either to send them to your friends or to save them in your current Story. In other words, saving Snaps as Memories does not put them into your Story. You'll have to do that manually by importing them from Memories.
4. To Send a Memory, Import It
Think of Memories as items that are in deep storage. If you want to send them or make them accessible through your Story, you'll need to import them, or bring them out of deep storage to your more "live" area of the app.
By the way, saving your Snaps has always been possible- the Snapchat app simply used to put them into the Camera Roll on your phone. So, when the Memories feature asks you if you want to import Snaps (to send or put in your Story), that's one of the places it will go to find things to import.
On the import screen, you'll see two tabs at the top: "Snaps" and "Camera Roll". Choose where you want to import from.
If you don't have any saved Snaps, Memories goes to your Camera Roll anyway. From there you could choose to import photos that were taken with your camera, and sent them to your Friends or put them in your Story, even if you were outside the Snapchat app when you took them.
5. Select What You Want to Do With Your Memories
In the upper right-hand corner, you'll see a checkbox. If you tap that, you can select multiple items to import. Make your selections, then you have another choice:
- Tap the big arrow at the bottom right of the screen to send to a Friend or to "My Story"
- Tap the lock symbol and your selections are saved to "My Eyes Only"
- Tap the "share" link symbol and you can share your selections via other apps, like Email, YouTube, or your OneDrive
- Tap the "Stories" symbol (a circle with a "+") and make a Story out of your selections
- Tap the Trash Can to delete the selections from Memories
6. Making New Stories From Your Old Memories
We've mentioned that "curating" will now be easier with Memories. One of the ways this works is that you can create new stories, using Snaps from all your Memories.
For this, follow these steps:
- Access Memories, then tap the upper right-hand corner box.
- That box puts you into "Select" mode, similar to your email app, for example.
- Select the Memories (remember, that means "saved Snaps") you want to collect into a single Story.
- Then tap the circle at the bottom of your screen... the one with the plus sign embedded.
- By tapping that circle with the plus sign, you are creating a Story made from all the Memories you selected in the previous step.
- Now in your collection of Memories, you'll see a new addition: that's your new saved Story, and it's now a Memory (a "Story Memory", you could say).
A side note: in Snapchat, a circle denotes a Story. So when you access your Memories, for example, if you have any Stories in there, they'll be circular shaped, whereas the Snaps will be square, as they appeared in your Camera Roll.
Some Final Tidbits of Info on Memories
In essence, all Memories really means is your Snaps and Stories are now saved on Snapchat servers rather than your phone Camera Roll.
Why should you care? Because it means old Snaps and Stories can now be shared from within the Snapchat app, anytime in the future, forever. It also means it's all accessible from other devices, too.
Finally, the Memories feature is optional. Turn it off within your Snapchat settings in the "Saving" section. There, you can set defaults like saving to "Camera Roll Only" and other customization like saving everything to the "My Eyes Only" area.
Enjoy Snapchat Memories - great things are sure to come of it, and we'll be looking for even more from Snapchat in the near future. Good Luck!