The way you chat with friends on Snapchat is getting a major face lift.
Chat 2.0 has video chatting, audio calling, fun stickers, and the option to send photos from your camera roll — and you can pretty much do it all at the same time.
It’s a total overhaul for a feature that up until now only let users swap text notes and do video calls only if you were both looking at the message.
That’s all changed.
Here’s how to use the new chat once you update your app:
From your list of snaps, swipe right on a friend's name to open the chat screen.
It also opens the window if you click twice.
There's no group messaging on Snapchat yet, so all conversations are just between you and one friend.
You can upload photos from your camera roll by clicking on the photo icon. The phone lets you make audio-only calls or leave 'audio notes' -- an equivalent of voicemail. The camera icon lets you make video calls or just leave small messages. There's also new stickers to send to friends.
So let's break it down...
Snapchat did have live video calling in the chat app before, but it was really hard to use. If both friends were looking at the chat window, it used to give you a blue, pulsating box where the send button normally was.
Now, video chatting is front and center with the little camera button, and you can video call someone whether they're in the chat window or not.
That doesn't mean you always have to pick up if your friends want to video chat. Or, you can just 'watch' rather than participate.
You can ignore a video chat or simply hit 'watch' so you can watch someone's video but not have them see you in return.
It's a great option if, say, one person is checking Snapchat while still in bed and the other wants to show off a new apartment.
Instead, you can swipe to make the video go from full screen to a quarter-sized circle. That way, you can keep the call going while sending photos, stickers, or addresses.
Snapchat wants to make sure it's easy to switch between all of the chat features.
By pressing and holding down on the camera icon, you can record a 10-second clip of yourself -- whether you're reacting to a message or just want to show off your outfit.
It only turns on the selfie, front-facing camera, so you'll have to flip your phone around if you want to show off anything else. The messages record in a small circle and stay that size in the chat window.
Like the video chatting, there's an option just to listen in case you are in a place where you can't talk back.
If you hit play, it will start playing on speakerphone. Once you pick up your phone and hold it to your ear, it starts playing like a normal phone call.
Snapchat doesn't tell you how long it is though in the hopes of making sure you listen to the whole thing.
Both video and audio notes can be deleted while you're making them by dragging to the red X in the middle. Otherwise if you let go after holding to record, it automatically sends.
Instead of just saying 'no' or 'love you', you can hit the sticker button and the app will pull up little illustrations that say the same thing.
If you're talking about your hotel view, you can send a photo of it.
If you're looking at the sunset, you can flip from audio call to video chatting. If you're trying to meet up for dinner, you can send the address via text or even send the cash you owe them for picking up the tab.
Either way, Snapchat's no longer just about trading photos back-and-forth.
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