Snapchat released an update to its app on Tuesday that brings a whole new set of updates to its Chat feature. Called Chat 2.0, the update includes many multimedia options, such as the ability to now send stickers, leave video and audio notes and upload media from the user's camera roll.
Launched two years ago, Snapchat said that the goal of the chat feature was to "emulate the best parts of face-to-face conversation." Users previously were able to see when their friend was typing so they knew to look out for the message. After learning about how people talk, the company decided to give this function a facelift, adding some more capabilities to make a tool its users will want to use.
Chat 2.0 puts the emphasis on more interactive private conversations between friends. Now, when a user swipes left to bring up their chats, they are presented with more ways to communicate with their friends.
Here's how to use all the new Chat 2.0 features.
All of these new messaging options are located under the "Send a chat" box, where the user usually types text.
The first presented feature is the ability to access the user's camera roll by tapping on the picture icon. Users can simply share a preexisting photo or video that is saved on their device by tapping on the icon and scrolling down until they find the one they want. After selecting the media, the user can make further edits, such as adding text or drawing before sending it in the chat.
The camera roll can also be pulled up during a video chat so that users can share photos while they are talking. These are displayed as large thumbnails that appear on the left side of the screen, and when the call ends, the full versions will appear in the chat as normal.
Live Audio/Video Chat
Snapchat users can now chat live by tapping on either the phone or video camera icon. However, this feature will only work if the other user is also in the chat. The other user will then be able to either ignore, join the call or just watch (if it's a video).
Users can switch off between audio and video calls (and all the other new features), so they can just use the Snapchat phone feature if they want to tell a quick story and don't want to type and then use the video function to show a demonstration.
If the friend the Snapchat user is trying to audio or video chat with isn't there, they can leave a note. To use this feature, press and hold down on the phone or video icon. An audio note consists of a short clip of your voice, and video notes can best be described as a GIF that features your face. It is a 10-second looping video clip that appears as a thumbnail. Audio can also be heard with the note.
Arguably, the best new feature is the ability to send stickers in chats. Snapchat added a library of 200 different stickers to help users express themselves that include food, animals with phrases and cute dog drawings for "me n bae." We expect to see Bitmojis added to these stickers as well.
To send a sticker, tap on the smiley face icon and scroll down until you find the perfect one. If the user types something like "hungry" in the chat, once they tap on the sticker, food-related ones will appear first. Users can also search for stickers by keyword, although it's not quite clear yet how users can do so.
Other New Features
Users can save a chat by pressing and holding on the message. They can also tap a thumbnail in order to view it full-screen.
Snapchat Stories now includes an auto-advance feature, which means that the next Story will play automatically when the user finishes watching the Story above it. No longer will they have to manually click to the next one. This means view counts will probably increase.
"We don't stockpile your private communication, and we don't show your friends an ongoing history of everything you've ever posted," Snapchat explains. "We believe that this approach makes Snapchat feel less like a permanent record, and more like a conversation with friends."
This comes after it publicly stated it's "standing with Apple" in a blog post earlier this month.