Snapchat Rolls Out a Major Update

Snapchat, an app that was previously only for photo and video sharing, is now striving to actually implement the “chat” part of its name. In its latest update released on May 1st, Snapchat has added video chat and instant messaging features- as if we didn’t have enough ways to contact each other on our smartphones.

That’s right, you can now text message on Snapchat. Swipe right on one of your friend’s names, and you’ll be presented with a messaging screen that allows you to text that person. These messages will disappear after exiting the messaging screen, however they can be saved by tapping on whatever messages you want to keep.

To use the new video chat feature, when on the messaging screen, if the other person is currently viewing the messaging screen as well, the yellow circle to send a snap picture will change to blue, indicating that you can video chat with the other person. Press and hold this circle, and a circle will appear over your finger showing either the front camera or rear camera, depending on whether your finger is on the top or bottom half of the screen. The other person, if doing the same thing, will appear on the screen.

I tested out the new update earlier today, and I think that it does make Snapchat a more robust app than simply sending snaps and stories. Sending messages and only keeping what you want is very interesting. However I don’t quite understand the video chat feature, why it was created? Isn’t that what FaceTime and/or Skype is for? Not only this, but I attempted to use the new feature with my girlfriend and despite the circle being blue, we only got the video chat to actually work a couple of times from at least 10 attempts. Give your thoughts on the update in the comments.

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