Idea: How Snapchat can make it easier to record video & increase video sharing with one-tap for video & long-press for photo (#23)

Purpose is to encourage video since for many users the experience is default video and increasingly so. Immediately on tap then a photo is taken, and if the user immediately lets go then video recording is started and the photo is not kept. But if the user keeps pressing for half a second or a second, then the photo is shown.

Default video recording on tap & long-press for photo. Tap on camera button starts recording video, tap the “Recording Video…” button to stop recording, tap the “X” to close the video and return to the Camera, and long-press on the camera button to make a photo. Designed by D.J. Sherrets.

Snapchat today:

  • Tap once to make a photo, or press and hold to make a video.
  • Many people use Snapchat to post videos, at least for particular users.
  • Pressing and holding can mean that making a video is somewhat more challenging because the finger covers part of the screen.
  • Pressing and holding for video while then tapping to flip the camera from back facing to front facing or vice versa is more challenging than if press and hold wasn’t required.
  • A strength of press and hold for video is that a user can quickly release the hold faster when the user is done with recording video.
  • A strength of one tap to make a photo is that photos are probably the most popular media shared and works well with bandwidth available today in many cases.
  • One tap for photo is good because one tap and quickly seeing the photo taken helps save time to figure whether you want to use that photo or not.

Proposed idea:

  1. Tap on the circle button, which starts video recording and expands the button to the “Recording Video…” button.
  2. Tap the “Recording Video…” button again to stop video recording, and that plays the video.
  3. Tap the “X” to close the video and return to the camera.
  4. Long press on the circle button to cause a photo to be made.


  • Purpose is that experience is mainly default video and in the future video will be even more so the default experience to share. Also, this way makes it simpler to record video without needing to press the button down the entire time of recording video.
  • On one tap to start video recording, the button to tap again to stop video recording extends across the window so that it’s easier to tap to stop recording. Button to stop recording doesn’t go all the way across the screen in order to keep view on what the person is making in the video, and reducing chance that hand might accidentally stop recording of the video on the edges of the phone.
  • Once the maximum video recording is reached, such as 10 seconds or 15 seconds, then the video automatically plays on the screen where the user can decide whether to use that video or start over.
  • One tap causes video recording to start.
  • Long press of about half second or 1 second shows a photo.
  • Important to consider the bandwidth impact of this for users.
  • Alternative is to make this feature available as a setting such as for people who tend to typically use video and may prefer this way to make video recording simpler.
  • If default is made for video, then setting can allow users to change to default photo on tap and long press for video.
  • Consider if people tend to record more than they expect to because of the delay between deciding to stop recording and actually pressing the button to stop recording.
  • Alternatively, allow users to press anywhere on the screen to stop recording. Consider if this limits cases when people want to be able to interact on the screen such as to tap to create focus.
  • See what impact this has on number of videos made.
  • This could also be used by any social and/or sharing product to use default video rather than default photo.
  • Get user feedback.
Tap camera button starts video recording, tap “Recording Video…” button to stop recording, tap “X” to close video…
…returns to the Camera view, then long-press to make a photo. Designed by D.J. Sherrets.

© 2016 D.J. Sherrets