Snapchat update: 5 things you need to know

In addition to photos that self-destruct, Snapchat now lets you chat and make video calls using new touch gestures.

Available on both Android and iPhone, Snapchat has always poured its content into the ephemeral web. Photos, messages and video conversations are not stored on your phone. Development teams have also retained the spirit of immediacy and simplicity that gives Snapchat its charm – not to mention makes it a success.

Before you jump straight into a video chat, here are 5 things you should know before using the new features.

To start a conversation, swipe to the right

To facilitate conversations and video calls in real time, development teams have added a new screen to their app. To get there, go to the screen where all the snaps are listed and drag the screen from left to right on the name of your friend.

You’re now in the new chat panel. The latter includes all the messages you’ve exchanged with your correspondent. If your contact is online, a blue icon appears in place of the yellow button for sending a snap.

Snapchat video

Change camera easily

When you hold down the blue video button, you can show your friend what you’re seeing with the back camera of your phone or the camera on the front. If he or she wants to start a video chat, all he/she needs to do is press the button.  Snapchat now has a little feature for those who haven’t had a lot of practice. If you want to activate your smartphone’s rear camera, just move the video bubble up. If you want to activate the front camera, swipe the video bubble down.

Snapchat video bubble

A redesigned notification system

Unlike most chat applications, Snapchat has redesigned its notification system. The idea is simple: minimal notification. Even if someone sends you 10 messages in a row, the number of pending messages appears in a single alert.

Another small new feature that’s been well thought out: when your friend starts to write to you, the words “Your friend is typing” appear on the screen. This may, for example, allow you to start a video chat straight away and avoid a whole bunch of messages.

 Snapchat notifications

Check the time of sending

Finally, it’s now possible to know precisely what time a particular message has been sent. Simply slide your finger from left to right when you’re on the chat screen.

Heure d'envoi des messages Snapchat

Messages can be saved

This update introduces another change. If you chat with your friends via instant chat tab, your contact can save messages you have sent. Simply type the phrase in question so the message font changes and the text is stored.

Our recommendation is that if you want to send sensitive information, the traditional Snapchat method – the self-destructible photos – are better, plus an additional drawing or text, if needed.

Save a Snapchat message

That covers all the newest updates and features of Snapchat.

For more details about the messaging app, check out our complete guide to Snapchat.

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