- Snapchat has launched a universal search bar for Android and iOS users, according to reporting by TechCrunch.
- The new search bar appears at the top of the app, enabling users to always be able to quickly navigate the app to find friends and content.
- Quick Chat suggestions will help users find specific messages or stories.
A universal search bar is a significant move for Snapchat because it goes a long way towards addressing one of the major complaints about the platform, which is that it’s hard to navigate and find specific conversations, accounts, Stories or Discover channels. By adopting a universal search bar, a tool that a lot of other apps already use, Snapchat is starting to make its user experience more familiar, something that could help attract new users.
Universal search also appeals to brands as it will help these marketers build their audience on Snapchat. It is not farfetched to imagine Snapchat offering paid search opportunities as well, although the platform declined to comment on future plans when TechCrunch inquired about how it might monetize search.
The universal search bar arrives at an important time for Snapchat, which is preparing for an initial public stock offering scheduled for March. Being able to demonstrate to potential investors that the platform can continue to drive user growth and monetization opportunities will be key to how successful the IPO is.
Snapchat is clearly looking to be more marketer-friendly, with a report earlier this week revealing that the platform is testing to allow marketers to deep link within ads to send ad viewers out of the app, as well as a demand generation option with ads including an auto-fill feature for lead gen forms.
Snapchat is already attracting the attention of marketers, with a recent L2 report indicating that 64% of brands are already on the platform. The universal search bar and other recent moves could drive this number up even higher.