A new Snapchat update is bringing some neat new features to the popular app, including support for group video chats and the ability to tag people in Stories.
Facing heavy competition from Facebook's Instagram, which has already copied a number of Snapchat features, Snapchat is trying to maintain momentum and improve the experience to keep users engaged. It's constantly adding new or enhanced features and functionality and the latest update takes it up a notch.
Snapchat Group Chats
One of the most anticipated Snapchat features is the group chat, which works for both video and voice calls. The group video chat supports up to 16 people in the same conversation simultaneously, while the voice chat supports up to 32 people.
This builds on the one-on-one video and voice calling feature Snapchat launched back in 2016, and should significantly boost the number of calls made daily through the app.
Using the new group video chat is pretty simple and straightforward, available either for existing group chats or for new ones. To start a live video chat with up to 16 friends, simply tap the video icon and the other members of the group will receive a notification that they're invited to a chat. When they enter, a notification will appear above the keyboard to let you know who joined.
To make video calls more fun, Snapchat users can also add lenses over their faces, such as puppy ears or others. To start a voice call with a group, meanwhile, tap on the phone icon. Also, if you'd rather not use your camera during a group video call, you can turn it off and attend the group chat just by voice.
Tagging People In Snapchat Stories
Another new feature is the ability to tag people in Snapchat Stories, using the "Mentions" feature. To do so, just type "@" followed by the username of the people you want to tag. Others who see the Stories will be able to send friend requests to the people tagged in the respective Stories, or see what public Stories they've posted.
When someone tags you, you will get a notification in the chat window, alerting you that someone mentioned you in their Snapchat Story. The ability to add tags should be particularly useful for influencers or celebrities on the platform, as they will be able to easily tag a company or a brand they're promoting. Instagram Stories has already been offering this feature for a while.
The latest features join other recent additions to Snapchat, such as Map Explore, Giphy integration, custom face lenses, and more. The new group video chat features will start rolling out globally this week, and the tagging feature should become available soon as well.