Snapchat has grown from an app with serious security holes—a data breach leaked the user names and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchat users after the attack in 2014—into possibly the most popular social tool for young people and marketers like NowThis. With the app’s most recent major update, however, it’s clear Snapchat is aiming to be much more.
For starters, Snapchat users can now place audio and video calls. In addition, over 200 stickers have been added to the app’s existing repertoire, allowing users to send stickers of aliens, ghosts, animals and more to their contacts via chat. These new features are rolling out to the Android and iOS versions of the app this week in an update called “Chat 2.0.”
“What we love most about the new Chat is how easily you can transition between all these ways of communicating—just like you do in person,” said Snapchat in a blog post. “When that’s possible, you aren’t texting, calling, or video chatting… you’re just talking. We’ve been working on this redesign for a while—we can’t wait to hear what you think!”
In other words, the goal with the Chat 2.0 update is to make Snapchat the next-best way to communicate next to real life interaction.
Stickers can be sorted through based on the keywords that best describe them. For example, looking up “love” will bring up a list of related stickers. Likewise, placing voice and video calls aims for simplicity, allowing users to contact each other within the app with the tap of a button. If recipients don’t want to receive a call, they can respond with text, stickers and/or emojis instead. Responses can also be made in the form of audio notes or video messages. Users broadcasting live video, meanwhile, will also be able to see if the other user is watching the video.
Finally, as part of the update, Snapchat has revamped the Stories feature. Stories now show friends’ shared moments from the past 24 hours, played automatically in sequence.