The recent Snapchat update has been about a year in the making – but totally worth the wait. The new and improved Snapchat 2.0 released in March 2016 includes features meant to enhance the experience of communication between users. The app has introduced an improved version of video calls, audio calls, voice and audio notes, stickers, the way photos can be exchanged in private chats, and auto-advancing Snapchat stories. Below are the highlights of each feature:
Auto Advancing Stories
Prior to the updated Snapchat, users would have to individually click on each friend’s username to view a story and then be brought back to their feed. Now, Snapchat automatically plays the next story on your queue without having to click on any thumbnail. In order to exit the feature, a user simply has to swipe down; if they want to move on to the next friends story, they can just swipe left.
Video and Audio Calls
Snapchats previous video calling feature was not as popular as it could have been since it required a slightly uncomfortable finger hold down in order to keep the video screen up. This time around the process is a lot easier. Users simply press one button to make a call and then wait for their friend to either ignore it, join the call, or watch your stream. If they choose to join, both users will get fullscreen video streams of each other which can be swiped down to confine the stream to a small circle allowing users to send text or sticker messages while still streaming.
Audio calls are essentially just like a normal phone conversation. This feature is best used for people already communicating on the app who would like to communicate in more detail for a short period of time.
Notes are just snippets of either audio or video that can be sent to one on one exchanges with other users. Video notes play in an infinite loop – think GIFs being sent with optional sound, and audio notes feel similar to short voicemails.
Snapchat 2.0 now has over 200 sticker options for users to use in private chats with one another. To access all of the sticker options, users just need to click on the icon of the smiley with its tongue out or type in keywords to find all related stickers to the word.
Snapchat’s update has only made it easier for users to choose when and how to express themselves to people of their choosing. While they may be one of the last messaging platforms to introduce features such as Stickers, the app was still successful in making it a feature users enjoy using regularly. This means big things for Snapchat as it gives them an upper hand in the competition with the platforms in terms of consumer attention and usage. The trick is to not overwhelm users with easy to use features that enhance the app experience. So far, Snapchat seems to be on the right track towards becoming the most popular app used by the masses.