Snapchat is giving users more powerful video tools through a new feature called Director Mode. It’s available starting today globally for iOS users and with limited Android availability; a full roll out will follow in the coming months.
Director Mode, first previewed in April, brings a handful of new features for filming and editing videos on Snapchat, including a few that are popular on other platforms. Green screen, for example, allows users to record videos with a background, similar to the TikTok filter of the same name. And dual camera, previously only available for iOS users, is a BeReal-esque feature that takes a front and back-facing photo or video simultaneously.
Other tools include quick edit, which allows users to trim and splice multiple videos together, and a camera speed feature to speed up or slow down videos. Director Mode is available via an icon on the main camera toolbar.
People can use Director Mode to make content to share with friends, but the emphasis on new editing tools comes as Snap tries to make a case for Spotlight, its TikTok competitor. Snapchat has introduced several programs to try to entice creators to make videos for Spotlight, including challenges that pay cash for top videos using different Lenses or sounds.
Boosting Spotlight usage is a priority for Snap. In an internal memo circulated in September, CEO Evan Spiegel said he wants 30 percent of Snapchatters using Spotlight every day in 2023. The company recently told investors that engagement on Stories was down; Snap laid off around 20 percent of its employees this summer.
Other platforms have updated their video editing tools to be closer in line with the TikTok experience. Instagram, for one, has steadily added features to Reels, like the ability to import your own audio, make longer short-form clips, and add interactive elements like polls and quizzes. YouTube, too, is making a play for TikTok’s dominance, including opening up its library of long-form videos so users can grab portions for Shorts, the company’s TikTok copy.
Correction October 28th 9:46AM ET: Snapchat originally said Director Mode is available globally for Android. It is not — availability is limited for Android, with a full roll out to come.