As a result of rising competition from Facebook’s photo-sharing platform Instagram, Snapchat has introduced a new feature which is heavy on both collaboration and sharing. We can only hope that its copycat rival does copy this feature as well.

Snapchat, Custom Stories, group, friends
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Make group custom stories on Snapchat

On Tuesday, the photo-sharing app rolled out Custom Stories, a feature designed to make sharing around important events even easier by offering a new way for friends and family to string important individual stories together. This feature is aimed at making group outings and successive picture sharing on the photo-sharing app a lot easier by enabling many users to be contributors to a single story.

With the feature, users will be able to create geofenced, global stories with select friends. In some ways, the new feature can be seen as an expansion to Geofilters, which allowed users to create custom filters for events like birthdays, weddings and more, notes TechTimes.

This new feature allows users to create group Snap stories and select users within a certain geographical radius. Users can also invite other Snapchat users who are nearby. To do this, the photo-sharing platform will create a 1-block geofence around the current location of the host, notes The Verge.

“You decide who can add to the Story and who can view it – you can also choose to Geofence the Story to a location,” Snapchat said in a blog post.

Custom Stories will stay live on the platform until no one contributes to them for 24 hours or until the original user removes them. There is no limit to the number of stories one can contribute to, but you can create only three custom stories at a time.

How to make a Custom Story

Users must tap the new “Create Story” icon on the top-right corner of the Stories screen to make a Custom Story. A user can then give a name to the story and select friends from any place in the world who will want to join. The original users and other participants can add other stories after creating a custom story. These stories can be seen and contributed to by your friends. You can include friends of friends as well.

A demo video from Snapchat shows three girls who on a road trip adding their own Stories to their “Girls’ Trip” Custom Story, and it demonstrates the feature nicely. Snapchat’s new feature can work for vacations, as referral marketing for firms, or for group outings. The feature has already been rolled out to iOS users and will soon be released to Android users.

Snapchat’s recent update comes at an important time when it is struggling to increase its user base while keeping existing users from being pulled away by rival Instagram. On the other hand, Facebook’s photo-sharing app is growing fast, in part by copying features created by Snapchat, like visual effects called lenses and the stories feature.

Sanpchat’s new feature will surely encourage friends and other participants to contribute, especially if they are in the same event. Thus, the new feature will help the photo-sharing platform get some new users, something that it needs badly.