Snapchat adds Group Story tool to stay ahead of Instagram

San Francisco - Snap, the maker of photo and video-sharing app Snapchat, unveiled a new tool that will let people collaborate with their friends on video stories about events, a product update that could provide a boost in its race to stay ahead of Instagram.

In addition to posting to their own stories on the app, users can now decide to create a group video story around an event like a birthday party or a wedding, and invite their friends to contribute clips for a compilation, the Los Angeles-based company said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, in its first earnings report as a publicly traded company, Snap posted user growth that was slower than projected and said it was betting on new features to drive adoption of its application.

The company, which also recently released a search feature, needs the updates to help differentiate itself from competitors that are rapidly cloning its products.

Facebook’s apps, including Instagram, have broadly copied Snapchat’s popular "stories" feature, where people can upload video clips of their day that can be viewed for 24 hours.

Snap shares have gained about 18% since the company’s IPO in March.

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