Snapchat has announced Group Video Chat and Mentions − two major new features that will likely prove popular with users of the messaging-cum-social-media app.
Group Video Chat is the biggest new arrival, and lets up to 16 people join and participate in a video chat. With that many people involved, we doubt anybody would be able to understand a word anyone else said, but we suppose it’s nice to have the option.
To start a Group Video Chat, open an existing group (or create a new one) and tap the video icon. Every member of the group will receive a notification saying they’ve been invited to a call, and when they accept the invite, their name bubble will light up, telling you they’ve joined the call.
If you’re in a group with even more than 16 friends − pat yourself on the back, you popular so-and-so, or get someone else to do it for you − you can involve everyone by starting a Group Voice Chat instead. Those can support a frankly ludicrous 32 people.
“In spring 2016, we introduced Video and Voice Chat as part of a large Chat update with the goal of making catching up on Snapchat feel less like texting and more like really hanging out,” said Snapchat.
“For example, that’s why when a friend opens Chat, their Bitmoji pops up to say ‘I’m here!’ — and why your Chat conversations aren’t saved forever, by default.
“Our community is making millions of call on Snapchat every day, and we’re excited to introduce Group Video Chat as a new way for Snapchatters to turn any group conversation into a real-time hangout at the tap of a button.”
The company is also turning the tables on Instagram, ripping one of its features for a change.
You can now tag your Snapchat friends in Stories posts with @Mentions. To do so, just before you post your Snap as a Story, simply type @ and the username of the person you’d like to mention in it (they’ll receive a notification). In some cases, Snapchat says, you may need to type their full username.
Viewers will be able to swipe up on your Snaps to watch the tagged account’s public Story or add them as a friend.
Both Group Video Chats and Mentions have just launched, but Snapchat says they’ll take a few weeks to roll out to everyone.
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