Snapchat users can finally post Stories from other apps

The update could help Snap boost user growth.

Snapchat is finally opening up Stories to outside apps. Nearly a year after it was first previewed, the company is introducing App Stories, a feature that allows third-party apps to post Stories created in the Snapchat app to their services.

First announced at the company's Partner Summit event, App Stories is now available in four apps: Triller, Squad, Hily, and Octi. The company says more apps will adopt App Stories over time, though it's not clear how quickly Snap will be ramping up. (And no word yet on when Stories might show up in Houseparty or Tinder -- two early partners that were teased during last year's Partner Summit.)

With the update, Snapchat users who also use App Stories-enabled apps can connect their accounts and share Stories posts directly from Snapchat to the other apps. The Stories themselves should look familiar to Snapchat users -- goofy face filters, doodles and all -- though each app can use the feature a bit differently. And app developers can opt to keep Stories posts live for up to seven days, rather than the standard 24-hour limit.

Music video app Triller, for example, will allow its users to view Stories from friends and artists they follow. And video chat app Squad lets users watch Stories together during group calls. Hily, a dating app, already has its own version of Stories, and will integrate Stories created in Snapchat into its existing "Hily Stories" feature. On augmented reality app Octi, Stories will show up in users' profiles.

For Snap, App Stories could be one of the most important pieces of its still nascent developer platform. Putting Snapchat content directly in already-popular apps like Triller could fuel more growth as Snapchat tries to grow its user base.

"This gives people even more reasons to use the Snapchat camera to create and it also opens up our content to potentially new audiences," says Snap's VP of partnerships Ben Schwerin.

App Stories isn't the first time the company has looked to its in-app camera to drive growth. Snap previously credited the popularity of its AR lenses with helping drive its biggest uptick in daily users in more than a year after its "gender swap" lens went viral.

The feature also offers Snap the opportunity to potentially expand its advertising outside of its own app. Though Stories posted in third-party apps won't have ads to start off, Schwerin notes that another not-yet-released product announced during last year's Partner Summit is showing promise in early testing: Ad Kit, which allows app makers to run Snap's ads in their own services. And while Snap isn't saying when Ad Kit may launch, it's not hard to imagine that apps using Stories could also want to run Snap ads alongside them.

"There's definitely going to be potential in the future to create monetization opportunities for Snap and for our partners through these products," Schwerin says.