Snapchat is testing a new feature called Crowd Surf as it looks to combat increasing competition from Instagram. The new Crowd Surf feature takes individual video clips from various users and combines them together to create the effect of one seamless video that’s longer than 10 seconds…
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Crowd Surf is powered by artificial intelligence and machine leaning to recognize when a lot of people are recording the same concert at the same time. From there, the technology can piece together videos from different users at different angles while keeping the audio constant, thus effectively creating one long seamless video.
The feature is still in the early stages. According to a report from TechCrunch, the company tested Crowd Surf last night at a Lorde concert in San Francisco by taking various clips of the artist’s song “Green Light” and combining them.
The end result can be seen now on Snapchat by heading to the “Featured” section below the list of other stories. There’s a button in the lower right of the video to seamlessly switch angles, but the feature will also automatically switch angles as the videos change.
As TechCrunch notes, Snapchat isn’t the first company to attempt such a feature as several other startups have tried to build entire platforms around this idea. The difference for Snap, however, is that the sheer number of user content submissions it receives is astronomical, therefore making it easier to succeed at user-powered features like Crowd Surf.
Snapchat has been relatively quiet as to the rollout of Crowd Surf. The company has only said that the feature is based on “in-house AI technology” and will gradually rollout to more events such as concerts and speeches. The feature will likely be limited to high-profile events, however, due to the number of different videos that are required to create the seamless footage that Snap wants.
Snap has been facing increased competition from Instagram, which launched its own Stories feature and has already garnered over 250 million users. Snapchat hopes that new features like Crowd Surf will encourage users to continue submitting videos in hopes of seeing their footage in such Featured stories as Crowd Surf.