Snapchat's new feature rivals YouTube's offering

'Stories Search' is being rolled out to users around the world

Snapchat's new feature rivals YouTube's offering

Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment / via PA

For the longest time, Snapchat was considered to be a messaging app for teenagers and not much else. Last August, however, attitudes towards the service changed after Instagram introduced its 'Stories' feature. This move was branded by many as a 'copy and paste' of Snapchat's offering. Since then, Facebook and WhatsApp have both launched similar features - 'Stories' and 'Status'.

With four platforms now hosting similar, if not identical, features it is fair to ask if there's any innovation left in the social media game. Rather than sitting idly by, Snapchat has unveiled a new feature that pushes it beyond what the others are doing and into the realm of YouTube.

'Stories Search' allows users to search terms and view stories based upon those terms. This can be anything from a celebrity to a sports game. One the content has been added to Snapchat's 'Our Story' group, users from around the world will be able to see it. 

Snapchat said it uses machine learning to place the stories into different categories. The text, time and visual aspects of a story are analysed. 

At the time of launch, some 1 million stories will be searchable on the app. The company is doing a phased released, so it's not quite clear as of yet when it will arrive into Ireland. 

Snapchat averaged 158 million daily active users for the fourth quarter of 2016, up 48% from the previous year.