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Thumbs Up! Thumbs Off! Snapchat Is Going to Make It Easier to Watch Videos.

Evan Spiegel wants people to watch more videos. So Snapchat is (probably) going to make it easier to watch videos.

Asa Mathat for Re/code
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Snapchat befuddles lots of new users, and Evan Spiegel says that’s not the worst thing in the world. “There’s a bit of a learning curve,” he told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the Code Conference. “That’s what makes it fun.”

But the Snapchat CEO says his messaging service is likely to make at least one tweak that will make it easier to use: It will probably stop requiring users to hold their thumb on the screen while they watch a video.

Right now, the fact that users have to keep their finger on the phone while they look at a message, or anything else, is seen as one of Snapchat’s distinctive quirks.

But that started out as a necessity — it was the only way Snapchat knew how to keep people from taking screenshots of what were supposed to be ephemeral messages — and it’s not one any more, Spiegel said.

“I think, for us, it’s holding us back from longer videos being watched on our service,” Spiegel said onstage. So will that change? Yes, Spiegel said — more or less. “We try not to ruin surprises, but that may be in the cards.”

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