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New update puts more Chat into Snapchat with messaging and two-way video

Snapchat iconSnapchat has up until this point, offered up a somewhat stilted means of conversation, but the latest update brings real-time text and video chat to the table.

Whilst there are a ton of messaging apps out there, Snapchat won over users with its self-destructing photo and video messaging, which more recently could be adorned with captions, doodles and filters too. After an update that hit this week, you now have the ability to get involved in a true two-way conversation with your friends using text or video.

This may just sound like Skype, but Snapchat has its own take on real-time messaging. The Chat update, as it’s called, adds a more conventional text-based instant messaging experience to the app. Swiping to the right of the capture screen will bring you to your Snapchat inbox and swiping right once again on an individual contact will now pull up a conventional chat dialogue screen.

Similar to your regular messaging app, you can have a two-way dialogue, but like conventional Snapchats, once you’ve read incoming messages once they’ll disappear indefinitely. The only way to hold onto messages is by taking a screenshot, just as you would with incoming snaps. That is of course unless you’re sharing, links to-do lists and so on. The main body of text will disappear, but links will remain, making it easy to refer back to them.

The video side of things is the more intriguing. If you’re in the midst of a chat dialogue and the yellow snap icon glows blue, that means recipient of your messages is available to talk and presently has the app open on their device, this means that if you want, you can simply press and hold to broadcast live video. Holding your thumb on the screen to initiate the stream.

By dragging you finger or thumb up or down on the screen, you can flip which camera is broadcasting: near the bottom for the front-facing camera, up towards the top to stream from the rear camera. If the recipient does the same, you can then see each other in a two-way stream too.

This is a significant addition to the Snapchat experience and sets it more in direct competition with the aforementioned Skype as well as other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

What do you think of the changes? Are you planning on using these new features or did you like Snapchat anyway?

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