May 9, 2017

You can now send Snaps longer than 10 seconds

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.

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Facebook spending $100 million to help news outlets in coronavirus crisis

Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook says it is spending $100 million to support news outlets around the world that have been impacted by the coronavirus, the company said Monday.

Why it matters: Whatever Facebook's motivation, this is a much-needed cash infusion at a critical time for the local news industry.

The next American struggle: Waiting out the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There are now a lot of known knowns about the coronavirus: It's here, it's spreading, it's stressing hospitals, it's crippling the economy, it's slowed only by distance and isolation — and it's sure to get much worse before it gets much better. 

Why it matters: Similarly, there is a sameness to the patterns and known unknowns. So now we hit the maddening stage of waiting.

Go deeperArrow31 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus pushes traditional businesses into the digital age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of old-line industries that once hesitated to embrace digital technologies are now being forced to do so for the sake of survival.

Why it matters: Once consumers get used to accessing services digitally — from older restaurants finally embracing online ordering, or newspapers finally going all-digital — these industries may find it hard to go back to traditional operations.