Snap now lets users add links to snaps, opening up a possible way of making money for users

Key Points
  • Snapchat's new Paperclip function lets users link to websites through their snaps
  • It also added ways to crop objects and put them in front of backdrops, as well as voice filters.
Evan Spiegel
Jae C. Hong | AP

Snapchatters can now link to external websites through their snaps using a just-launched feature called Paperclip — one that many users have been wanting from the company.

To access the Paperclip function, a user clicks on the paperclip icon before sending their Snap to friends or posting on their public Story and adds their link. Viewers can swipe up to go to the external link. The linking ability will be available globally through Wednesday's update.

Links could be used to promote personal projects, encouraging people who want to build a social media empire to build a presence out on Snapchat. It could also be used for affiliate links, which give link posters revenue if a sale is completed through their link. Technically, Snap doesn't allow users to use its products for commercial purposes without its direct consent per its terms of service. However, whether it will be policing if people make money off their links remains to be seen.

Photo credit: Snap

The ability to add links to individual posts has eluded users on Snapchat and rival Instagram. Before this, Snapchat users could not link out to external websites, though businesses could add app download links. Instagram users can only add one link in their user bios, while advertisers had the ability to add shopping links.

The new update also includes ways to add custom backdrops on snaps with simple tools that allow users to crop objects. In addition, people can now modify their voices using voice filters on any Snap. Before they could only do so on special Lenses, one of Snapchat's internal visual filters.