After 8 years of having the feature on its app, Snapchat is officially removing their speed filter—which allowed users to record and share how fast they are moving. According to a Snapchat spokesperson, it was removed from the app because it was “barely used by Snapchatters”.
“And in light of that, we are removing it altogether,” she continued.
She also said that the company started removing the feature this week. However, it may be a couple weeks before it disappears from the app for all of its 500 million monthly active users.
The “speed filter” could previously be found on Snapchat after you’ve taken your photo or video. It is an added filter that you can add, amongst other filters like the one that tells the time, your location, and some other seasonal ones. When I checked the app from my own phone, I could no longer find it myself.
The filter has allegedly been the reason for several lawsuits from the families of those who have been injured or killed in car crashes where drivers were moving at excessive speeds. But instead of removing it, Snapchat has defended its filter and tried to reduced the popularity of the feature by adding a “Don’t Snap and drive” warning, and limiting it to 35mph (56.3 km/h).
However, the reason as to why Snapchat is finally removing the filter now is unclear. Lawyer Michael Neff—who has represented the families of the car crashes linked to the filter—said that the action does not undo the pain of his clients.
“While this will no doubt serve the safety of the motoring public moving forward, it does not remedy Snapchat’s choice to create and distribute the speed filter in the past,” said Neff.
Snapchat is still often used by younger users as a platform for communication. So it’s a very good thing that they’ve finally got rid of that feature. But since it has allegedly been the reason for several serious car accidents, they could have acted a lot quicker and at least owned up to its potential harm—because how else would they think people would have used it?