Snapchat 2.0 is here and it's bringing some surprising new features that may have more than just teenagers excited about using the app. The upgrade rolled out yesterday and emphasizes what Snapchat is already good at: connecting with your friends in more fun ways than one. The popular video chat application has gotten attention for its innovative disappearing video messaging as well as for less serious developments, like the animation lenses that people love to play with and send to their friends. Snapchat acquired Looksery last fall to power the creation and execution of the fun filters that we look forward to each week, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they've recently purchased another company to possibly help develop future fun for the app.
Snapchat bought Bitstrips last week and it didn't make much sense as to why or how this acquisition would be used. But now, after introducing Chat 2.0, we can see why some people might be a bit giddy about the integration with the new features on the app. Along with the potential to use over 200 stickers in private chat, the app has added a lot of other capabilities too. Here's a quick summary of the new things you can do:
Auto-Advance Stories - You no longer have to go down the list of stories and select each one to watch what your friends are up to. The auto-advance function will automatically move to the next story once one has finished. That means no more scrolling down your list tapping each individual story, so you'll save time catching up on what everyone is doing. To move on to the next story, just swipe and skip ahead. To exit, simply swipe down and you're back to the home screen.
Audio Notes - Love the WhatsApp audio message that lets you say what you want and send it within chat? Well now, you can do it on Snapchat too. If you're on the go or can't really take a video at the moment, send an audio note so that your friend can hear what you have to say.
Video Notes - Send a quick 10 second video message within chat so that the other user can see your face react. It's kind of like the audio notes, but with your face! The video message plays audio too, if the other person in the chat taps.
Make video and audio calls - Now you can use Snapchat like a phone by calling through the application. You don't even have to be in a chat with the user you wish to call. You can also send photos that you can edit with the Snapchat filters and drawing tools while you're on the video call. The image will appear as an overlay to the video call so you can view them while you're still talking.
And of course, Stickers! - The stickers feature is totally new for Snapchat and lets you select from tons of options based on the words that you've typed. For instance, if you type the word "love", the sticker selections based on that word will all pop up instantly.
Bitmoji is not available on Snapchat 2.0 yet, but it sure might be in the near future. It makes a lot more sense after seeing the advances in the app this week that Bitstrips could play a big part in the development of even more Snapchat functions. $100 million may seem like a lot for some stickers, but the potential to integrate personalized avatars into the chat feature might be what Snapchat developers are looking to create as they move forward with more prospective product updates. It looks like Snapchat is becoming the ultimate social media sharing application with the same features and functions of apps like Twitter and Facebook Messenger. Who knows what they will come up with next!