Snapchat‘s ephemeral picture sharing service has taken the messaging world by storm. But it wasn’t until today that the hip app added what might be its most addictive feature yet: instant chat. The Snapchat team announced this morning that real-time text messaging and video calling is now available for all users.
Chatting on Snapchat
Now you can send quick text messages to friends on Snapchat. To initiate a chat, swipe right on a friend’s name in your Snapchat inbox. If both you and your friend are available at the same time, the send button will turn blue to indicate that your friend will see your messages right away.
Messages are visible for as long as you have the chat screen open, but as soon as you leave the chat screen your messages will be cleared.
Video Calling on Snapchat
As you can see in the video above, it’s easy to initiative video calls. When both you and your friend are present in your chat, simply press and hold to start a video call. You can even switch between your phone’s front and back cameras by sliding your video vertically.
Snapchat recently launched the Snapchat Stories feature, which lets snaps be played back within the app for up to 24 hours. It wasn’t too long after that the company announced that it processes 400 million snaps per day, much higher than the 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook each day.
The app’s ephemeral nature instills a sense of urgency drawing users in to view their snaps as soon as they receive them. Snapchat’s new real-time messaging feature should encourage users to spend even more time sending and receiving messages over the service. Snapchat’s new video message feature will also allow it to compete with other messaging apps like Skype, which will soon launch free group video calling on its mobile apps, and WhatsApp, which should launch voice calling within the next two months.
How will you use Snapchat’s new texting and video calling features?