Snapchat is finally stepping up its search game.
On Thursday Snapchat began rolling out an update to its mobile apps that makes its search bar more prevalent and more useful.
The most noticeable change is the addition of the search bar to the app’s home screen, but the more significant change is the fact that the search bar now works the same wherever you use it, such as on the Chat screen, Stories screen or the home screen.
Previously searching for another account from the Chat screen only let you privately message them or add them as a friend, whereas doing so from the Stories, only let you see their Story if one was available or add them as a friend. Now if you’ve already added someone as a friend — which is the same as following them — you can tap the result to privately message them, and if they have posted a Story, a circle will appear on the left side of the result that you can tap to view it. If you haven’t added the person as a friend, you can tap a button on the result to add them, like usual, or see their Story without adding them.
A unified search bar also makes it easier to find Discover channels and Live Stories to check out. And to up the chances that someone searching will want to check out a Discover channel or Live Story listed in the results — assuming it has keywords that match the query — Snapchat has improved the look of its search results.
Whereas before the results simply listed the names of a Discover publisher or Live Story, now they provide extra information. The updated Discover publisher entry lists a description of the Discover publisher and features a button to subscribe to their channel . And the revised Live Story listing carries a thumbnail image and description of the Live Story that resembles how it’s presented on the Discover screen.