Snapchat users can now say goodbye to a largely unpopular feature introduced in an update earlier this year — the Auto Advance. The feature, which automatically played every story in the users’ feed in a reverse chronological order, will now be replaced with a Story Playlist — a feature that lets users create a list of friends’ stories they can watch back-to-back by hitting the play button at the bottom.
“When we first built Auto Advance we wanted to make it easier to catch up with your friends by playing all of your Stories in recent updates back-to-back. Unfortunately, this change made it impossible to individually choose which Story to watch,” the company, which recently rechristened itself Snap Inc., said in a statement. “Starting today for select Snapchatters in our Android community and rolling out soon across all Android and iOS, the Auto Advance feature will be removed to give you control of your Story viewing experience once again.”
Snapchat Stories are photos and videos shared by users, and are available for a 24-hour period during which they can be viewed as a montage by those in the users' friends list.
As with auto-advancing stories, ads will still play between some videos in the playlist. In addition, as the Verge reports, ads will also be shown “post roll” — at the end of individual stories.
Another change the company is rolling out relates to the Discover pages, which show content created by publishers users have subscribed to. According to reports, the Discover content will now appear farther down in the Stories page. The subscribed content will appear right below the users’ friends list, while the unsubscribed content would be visible under that.
The new features come just a day after reports emerged that Snap Inc. was working on a $25 billion initial public offering, and that it may start selling shares as early as March 2017. If the IPO goes forward as planned, it would be the biggest one in the U.S. since 2014, when the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion through public listing.