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Illustration: Greg Ruben / Axios; Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

Snapchat announced Tuesday that Snaps no longer have to be confined to 10 seconds or less — now they can last forever, which is antithetical to its original purpose.

The features: A new "infinity" tool allows users to Snap without any time constraints, allowing users to share videos at a length users could share on Facebook or Instagram. They're also adding a new "loop" feature for videos so users can decide if Snaps play once or are repeated over and over, like Vine (RIP), and a suite of new camera features that include sophisticated photo-editing tools.

Why it matters: Snapchat has now rolled out its biggest product update of the year and its biggest ad update of the year within a week of its first-ever earnings report to investors (tomorrow) since becoming a publicly-traded company in February. The moves are likely meant to showcase to investors that they are thinking through ways to retain users and grow its advertising base, as Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram continue to copy its features and eat at its growth.

Our thought bubble: The addition of sophisticated photo-editing features and the ability to create longer videos is part of Snap's strategic market pivot from being a self-proclaimed "photo-sharing" company in 2012 to a self-proclaimed "camera company" in 2016.

Go deeper

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

4 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).