Snapchat has just unveiled Context Cards, a big feature that could completely transform the way people use the picture-sharing app.
They’re essentially adverts, which are designed to display information about businesses, venues and places, and make it easier for you to visit or make a booking with them.
Context Cards contain key details including customer reviews, maps, directions, opening times, contact numbers and menus, as well as options to reserve a table through Bookatable or hail a taxi ride there with Uber.
To view a Context Card, Snapchat says you need to swipe up on a Snap that says “More” at the bottom.
“These Snaps include those tagged with the white, venue-specific Geofilters or any Snap that has been submitted to our public Our Story and appears in Snap Map or Search,” the company says.
Snapchat’s Context Cards launch partners are TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Michelin, Uber, Lyft, OpenTable, Resy, Bookatable and Goop, and this list is likely to expand as the feature grows.
Its launch marks an enormous shift for Snapchat, which is becoming much more like a full-blown social network that's plugged into lots of different services, rather than the camera app it regularly claims to be.
Context Cards should prove handy for a lot of Snapchat users, and the fact they lie behind a fairly discreet menu means they’re less annoying than more orthodox ads.
Its arrival also helps explain Snap Map, the controversial feature that allows other people to see exactly where you are in real time. With the new tool, it will be much easier to meet up with friends.
Snapchat's Context Cards are available on both the Android and iOS app.
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