Snapchat Update: Video Chat and Texting Features Added
Snapchat claims that over 700 million pictures are shared everyday on their service, which would make it the most-used photo-sharing app — compared to Facebook, WhatsApp, and others. And now they have come up with new feature by which you can text and video chat as well. Staying true to their philosophy the text messages disappear as soon as the conversation is over. They hope to make video chats feel unforeseen, attempting to reproduce momentary meets on a street corner. Unlike Skype calls, which always prove to be tedious to plan out with friends.
23-year-old CEO, Evan Spiegel in an interview with ‘The Verge’ said that the reason none of his friends video call each other on a daily basis is because “calling” was born of an era where software needed to imitate real-world tools. “What does a phone look like without a ringer?” he asks. He sums up his idea more neatly. “For Snapchat, the closer we can get to ‘I want to talk to you’ — that emotion of wanting to see you and then seeing you — the better and better our product and our view of the world will be.” To Spiegel, the future of communication isn’t about rethinking or upgrading phone calls as Skype, FaceTime, and Hangouts have done. It’s about imagining a future that leaves the phone metaphor behind entirely.
Snapchat stripped out conventional texting-app features like read receipts, typing indicators, online statuses, and photo attachments. “Typing and read receipts make a lot of sense for messaging,” says Spiegel. “You write a letter, you put it in an envelope, you send it to a friend, and you want to know when they get it.” According to Spiegel, a modern chat app should feel like you’re really in the same room as the person you’re talking to.
It started with sharing short-lived pictures, but Spiegel’s vision is faraway from just photos. You can call it anything — social network, utility, future-phone — Snapchat has managed to stick around, though it’s addictive features are still not so easy to classify. He’s trying to produce digital spaces with the identical closeness and immediateness we get in actual world conversations. Smartphones have altered the way we all commune with one another. But if Spiegel can achieve his vision, Snapchat could be the app that changes it back.