Mar 14, 2024 - Business

Exclusive: Snapchat will allow users to save DMs

Illustration of the Snapchat ghost logo holding apart two speech bubbles of different sizes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Snapchat is experimenting with a new function called "Infinite Retention Mode" that allows users to save their direct messages (DMs) between friends, executives told Axios.

Why it matters: Snapchat pioneered disappearing chats as a way to help close friends keep conversations intimate. The new changes bring Snapchat closer to a pure-play messaging app like iMessage or WhatsApp.

  • The experiments are starting in smaller markets, but will eventually make their way to the U.S.

Catch up quick: Snapchat messages have historically deleted by default.

  • Users have had the option to decide whether their messages deleted immediately after they were viewed or 24 hours after they were viewed.
  • They could save some select messages, but not entire conversations.

Driving the news: Beginning March 14, Snapchat will begin ramping up new tests on a settings option that will allows users to save conversations with their friends indefinitely — similar to SMS messages.

  • They will be able to choose which conversations they want saved on an individual basis.

The big picture: The changes are a response to user feedback about wanting more control over deleted messages to make it easier to remember where conversations left off.

  • Snapchat is one of the most popular ways young people communicate with close friends. About half of U.S. teens use Snapchat daily, per Pew Research Center. More than 40% say they use the app multiple times per day.

What to watch: Saved messages could also make it easier for users to report concerning conversations or incidents that occur on the app.

  • Even if conversations are set to delete by default, Snapchat is still able to retain data from conversations to monitor for potentially harmful content.
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