Snapchat just introduced group video calling -- here's how to do it

y Daniel Shirey/Getty Images for American ExpressGroup video chatting has been popular for years, as this 2017 photo of Shaq and friend shows. Now Snapchat is getting in on the action.
  • Snap announced group video calls are coming to the Snapchat app.
  • The feature takes a page from Facebook, which has had group video chats since 2016.
  • Snap also introduced the ability to tag friends in Stories.

Snapchat on Tuesday introduced two new features: group video calls with up to 16 people and the ability to tag friends in Stories.

In a blog post, Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, said the updates will roll out to every user this week.

After seeing its best features cloned by Facebook for years, Snapchat is turning the tables and introducing features to its app that its competitor had first. In December 2016, Facebook Messenger introduced a group video chat feature (Facebook video chat feature was itself a clone of an up-and-coming video chat startup called Houseparty).

And Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, already lets users tag others in Stories – though the idea of a “Story” is from Snapchat in the first place.

Even though these features aren’t entirely new, both may change how you interact with friends inside the Snapchat app.

Here’s a look at Snapchat’s two new features:

Video call up to 16 people

Courtesy of Snapchat

With the new update, users can make a video call with up to 16 friends.

The catch is that everyone has to be in an existing group chat on Snapchat already. All you have to do is select the group chat you want to video call with and press the red video camera icon.

Everyone in the group will then get a notification inviting them to join.

@-tagging friends in Stories

Courtesy of Snapchat

To tag a friend in your Story, type “@” followed by their username. Tagging someone will send them a notification in the app’s Chat window.

The feature will also let users viewing the Story swipe up to see a list of everyone mentioned with button to follow them.

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