Self-destructing photo-sharer Snapchat has been updated today with a couple of major new features. Previously you’d have to take a photo if you wanted to send any kind of message through the service — now text chat is accessible by swiping right from the main camera view, then swiping again on the person you want to chat with. As you might expect, message history is wiped when you swipe away from the conversation, though you can choose to save individual messages for later if they’re important. But text chat is only part of the new Snapchat.
When both you and the person you’re chatting with have the conversation open, you’ll see a blue notification button which you can use to launch instantly into a video call using either the front or rear camera. Naturally, videos are just as ephemeral as everything else Snapchat does, and video streams can be either one-way or two-way. Both features represent a significant expansion of the apps’ feature set, while maintaining the ephemeral nature of the Snapchat messages.
You’ll find a quick demo of the new features in Snapchat’s (non-self-destructing) teaser video, above. Updates to the new version are rolling out from today on iOS and Android.
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