On May 1, Snapchat released an update that included the highly-requested “Snapchat Chat.” Now, Snapchat can not only be used to send unattractive selfies to friends, but also to send messages and live-chat.
“Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence,” Snapchat said in a blog post. “There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting.”
While the Snapchat team felt that this update would personalize the popular app, many Staples students felt that it was overwhelming.
“Snapchat was trying too hard to bring more features to [itself,] but it just made it way more confusing and I don’t like it,” Ruth Kissel ’16 said.
Users can now swipe right on a friend’s name in their Snapchat inbox to start “chatting”; it is similar to texting without SMS charges. Just like a regular Snapchat, all messages are cleared when the user exits out of the screen, but they can always screenshot the chat.
The second new feature is chatting face-to-face, or a more spontaneous version of Facetime. When two friends are on Snapchat at the same time, the yellow circle that appears in the chat screen turns blue. When this happens, users can press and hold to share live video.
Like many, Ben Goldstein ’16 said that he had no problem with the way the app was before the update.
“[It’s] kind of like the saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” he said.
Taylor Jacobs ’14 also felt that the update was unneeded. She said that the video chat feature is “kinda cool,” but Facetiming is better anyway because it doesn’t require the user to hold their finger down on the screen.
“I just think that the whole point of the app was lost,” she said. “It’s become one giant social media thing when really all I wanted to use it for was to send my friends funny selfies.”
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