Snapchat is reportedly introducing several new features this week, including Snapchat Group Video Chat as well as a “Mentions” features that allow users to tag their friends in snaps that are uploaded to their stories.
While Snapchat Group Video Chat is a surprising new feature that many are sure to take advantage of, the Mentions feature has been in the works for quite some time – first rumored to be included sometimes last month. In order to tag a friend, Snapchat users just have to start typing in “@” followed by the username of the person. Suggestions will pop up, and tapping on the name of your friend will tag them and notify them that they’ve been mentioned in your story.
The tagging feature seems to follow heavily in the vein of Facebook and Instagram – two major competitors for the social network. As social media features add more and more features, they start to become more similar and take features from one another. One of the most blatant instances of copying was when Facebook and Instagram took the stories feature from Snapchat, and this is a case of Snapchat taking things the other way around and using a feature that has long been standard on Facebook and Instagram. Regardless of the lack of originality surrounding the feature, it will no doubt be used a great deal as people tag their friends in stories that concern them. The usage will also likely see great use by celebrities and influencers, who can now tag the companies they are representing in their stories and advertisements.
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Perhaps the biggest change coming with this new Snapchat update is the Snapchat Group Video Chat that allows users to chat with up to 16 friends. A whopping 32 people can join if the call is just audio, allowing you to get the gang all together and hold a single call with dozens of members. The amount of people that will use the full 32 is probably pretty low, but it’s nice to have a Snapchat Group Video Chat that can comfortably accommodate all of your friends. Snapchat originally introduced a video chat video back in 2016, and reports that users are making millions of calls on Snapchat each day. The Snapchat Group Video Chat feature expands on that successful functionality, adding the ability to talk to numerous friends at the same time – just as if you were there in person with a group of your closest buds.
In order to access the Snapchat Group Video Chat feature, simply enter an existing group chat you already have or start a new group. You can then tap a live group video chat button or tap on the phone icon for a voice call. At th8is point, the members of the group will be notified that they’ve been invited to the call. You’ll get an alert above your keyboard to let you know they’ve joined. If you don’t want to use your camera for the Snapchat Group Video Chat for some reason, there’s also an option to toggle it off and join with just your voice. In true Snapchat fashion, you’ll also be able to filter Snapchat lenses over your face, such as the ever-popular puppy dog ears or one of the rotating filters that the service continually releases.
Over the past couple of months, Snapchat has added a number of new features in order to try to attract more people to the platform. In addition to the controversial UI overhaul, we’ve seen Map Explore, deluxe Bitmoji customization, integration with Giphy and new face lenses. We’ll see the Snapchat Group Video Chat feature and the Mentions tagging feature roll out globally over the next week.