Snap has long resisted traditional social network profiles, arguing that a network of close friends didn’t need them. (You already know what your friends look like and where they go to school, the company said.) But today, it’s changing course — at least a little bit. Snapchat is rolling out what it calls “friendship profiles” to capture all the shared media you’ve exchanged with friends and groups in a single place. But in keeping with the company’s ethos around privacy, the profiles are visible only to you and your friend.
The introduction of friendship profiles is one of several steps Snap is making today to promote close friendships. In addition to profiles, Snap will begin selling Bitmoji merchandise featuring the company’s personalized avatars. It’s also introducing what it describes as a “comic strip” that will feature you and your friends as Bitmoji in a cartoon that appears in the Discover feed.
To find your friendship profiles, tap on a friend or group’s Bitmoji. The profile houses any images, videos, messages, or links that you’ve saved to chat. And if you and your friends have chosen to share your location, they will appear on the Snap Map as well. Snap says the profile is designed to be a fast and easy way to find highlights from your friendships. It will roll out globally in “the coming weeks,” the company said.
And if you want to represent your friendship as a T-shirt, you can do that, too. Bitmoji Merch will take the avatars from you and your friends and plaster them on shirts, mugs, shower curtains, and phone cases.
Starting on Thursday, you’ll find them in the Snap Store, which you can access from the settings menu. For now, it will be available on iOS only.
Bitmoji Stories will feature lighthearted tales of Snapchatters and their buddies, created by the Bitmoji team and personalized to include your individual avatar. Everyone will see the same story, and the friend who appears inside it will be the person you have chatted with the most recently, the company says. For now, the stories will only be available in English.