Snapchat Introduces After Dark Feature in an Effort to Connect Users

Alex West - Author
By

Jan. 2 2024, Published 8:23 a.m. ET

The Snapchat app on a smartphone
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Snapchat's After Dark feature is a story that can only be viewed by friends the next morning.
  • To view other people's stories, users must participate the night before.
  • Snapchat is rolling out new features to connect their users.
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Snapchat is constantly revamping itself and adding new features to maintain the attention of its audience. The addition of Snapchat's After Dark feature is adding a new dynamic to the messaging-turned-social media app.

While social media is heavily criticized for taking users out of the moment when they're doing something exciting, there has been a huge influx of apps trying to do the opposite. With the rise of apps like BeReal and Lapse, people are showing how much they crave the ability to use social media as a tool to connect in real-time, but still feel like they're experiencing their life in the moment.

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A group of friends at a New Years Eve party
Source: Getty Images

What is After Dark on Snapchat?

The new feature is a sort of communal story meant to capture and retell your adventures from the previous night. It combines elements from traditional Snapchat and BeReal. Between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, users can post an After Dark story.

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Stories added to After Dark won't be visible to others until 5 a.m. at which point friends can take a look back at the night and see what everyone was up to. Plus, those who were with you can relive the night. However, only people who also made an After Dark post will be able to see it.

A person using a smartphone at a concert
Source: Getty Images
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The BeReal-esque feature ensures that individuals need to be honest about what they're up to. If someone is having a relaxing night in, they'll need to post it to review the crazy clubbing life of others. This could provide a balance to social media because users will be able to see that no one's life is all raves, partying, and perfect.

It also helps keep people from obsessing over what they post. Rather than stress about your latest Instagram story, you're able to post and forget about it, keeping the party moving. After Dark eliminates the instantaneous need to entertain others and aims use social media more like a time capsule.

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How do you add to Snapchat's After Dark?

Assuming it's the right time of day, Snapchat's After Dark feature should pop up as an option to post stories. Check your profile's "My Story" section for the portion that says "Add to After Dark."

How to add Snapchat's After Dark feature
Source: Snapchat
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You'll only be able to view other people's After Dark story if you post your own and after 5 a.m. the morning after. If you're desperate to know what others are up to, don't forget to post that quick snap.

What are calling lenses on Snapchat?

A calling lens allows users to interact in real time on games while also being on call together. The video call shows the users on the screen while also displaying a game for them to play together. Users can work together to solve puzzles.

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These new features are a part of Snapchat's goal to "fuel your friendships," as they announced in 2023. "On Snapchat there are so many ways to express yourself and celebrate your unique friendships. Today, we shared new updates that help you stay in touch with the people who matter most — your friends and family," the company wrote.

Snapchat's other features include an improved Snap Map, more customizable Bitmojis, and an Activity Center that shows off what your friends are doing in real-time.

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