Snapchat has released a major update today that will bolster its chat function with audio and video functions and adds the ability to send over 200 stickers to friends.
The move comes after Snapchat bought company Bitmoji, the marker of personalised avatar stickers, last week for $100 million. The stickers feature emojis including walruses, sloths, aliens and Snapchat’s signature ghost and they can be searched by keyword, as on Facebook messenger.
The update differentiates the platform from other chat platforms such as Facebook messenger and Whatsapp, with the ability to easily skip between video or audio calling, texting, sending photos, stickers and leaving audio messages in a continuous interaction. It is also marks the first time users are able to send photos and videos from their camera roll.
Snapchat says in a blog post that the goal is to “emulate the best parts of face-to-face conversation” and the new design is based around the idea of easy transitions between the various multimedia.
“We want Chat to be the best way to communicate — second only to hanging out face-to-face,” says the company.
The update also includes a significant change to the Stories feature, which broadcasts friend’s public snaps for 24 hours. Now, once you’ve finished watching one story, Snapchat will automatically advance to the next story in your feed. This encourages users to consume their feed as a single product rather than as a collection of moments.
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