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Snapchat brings Live Stories to the web for the first time

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Some of last night's most entertaining Oscars coverage was on Snapchat, but this year you didn't have to be inside Snapchat's app to see it: you could watch it all on the web. Snapchat quietly updated its website last night with a way to view the Oscars' Live Story online. This is the first time you've been able to see snaps outside of the app, and it's a big step toward making Snapchat more accessible (and potentially more viral).

Snaps on the web are much easier to share

Snapchat isn't saying how its web player will be used going forward — Will it be present every day? Only for major events? — but any time you can view a snap on the web, it's going to be much easier to share with people who don't regularly visit the app. It might also help to get them hooked, so it seems likely that we'll see a lot more of this.

Going to Snapchat.com's Live page is pretty similar to opening up a Live Story in the app. You can sit back and watch the curated series of snaps play through, one after the other (although there's no indication of how long each snap or Story lasts), and you can click through to skip individual photos and videos. There's a pause button that's unique to the web, but Snapchat blurs the image once you click it, perhaps as a way to limit screenshots — not that it can do much about those once people are viewing snaps on the web.

It's easy to imagine Snapchat using its Live page regularly, if not daily, to highlight major events; down the road, it could even begin letting individual users publish online, too, as a way to better share what they're making in the app (it's already started to move in that direction). For now, Snapchat has yet to comment on its plans.