The Internet media giant Snapchat has recently announced that it is introducing group video chats on the platform. In what seems to be a bid to diversify their application and capture more users from competing Social Media applications like Skype, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts, Snapchat’s group chat feature supports up to 16 participants.
On the contrary, voice calls on Snapchat supports up to 32 participants. As one can expect from Snapchat, even on video calls users can use filters and tools to enhance their video. This would certainly come as a boost to the application’s long term survival amidst user backlash regarding the redesign of the app. Moreover, layoffs and a steep decline in the share price of the company have caused a dent. This new feature is likely to act as a catalyst and bring more users from other Social Media apps while retaining existing user base.
New Features on Snapchat
The new feature, which is a move away from Snapchat’s core ideas, comes not as a surprise, as they are looking to mimic similar features in other social media platforms to satisfy their user base. The group chat comes along with another new feature called “Mentions”, which like in Instagram, lets you tag your friends with an @ symbol. Your friends get notified once you tag them. This new feature is also certain to be greeted well by celebrities and social media influencers with large followings, as they can now post snaps of their preferred brands, enhancing their endorsement opportunities.
Snapchat: The Journey So Far
To provide more context, it must be noted that Snap Inc., which has developed Snapchat, originally founded by Evan Speigel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown as Picaboo in 2011, is a US-based social media company headquartered in Los Angles, California. While the application is similar in its features to its competitors such as Instagram, Facebook etc. the key differentiator is that content posted on Snapchat is only available temporarily and will then become inaccessible.
So users display snippets of their “living in the moment” content and they eventually disappear after a while. Content posted are called “Snaps” which include photos or short videos (which last for 10 seconds or less). Snapchat also lets users chat with their friends using Bitemojis, text & stickers. Unlike other platforms, their content isn’t stored and is removed shortly. The company says that this brings a feeling that friends are hanging out with each other like in real life rather than virtual chatting.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of Snapchat is the ability to use fun tools to edit and enhance Snaps with filters and lenses. Different filters and lenses provide varied effects to the photo or video. The app also lets users add sketches and annotations, captions, and text to the photos or videos while posting.
Snapchat has also introduced several new features like Stickers, Geo filters, Memories and Stories. The stories feature lets you share your story for the day or for a particular timeline.
Snapchat and Trendy Collaboration With Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2018
Snapchat have not had it great in India yet, with the user base only slowly growing. The remarks posed by their CEO Evan Spiegel also caused an uproar in India, when he mentioned India wasn’t exactly one of their target markets, being a “poor country”. However, their recent move seem to contradict his intentions.
Snapchat had, earlier this week, announced a partnership with India’s biggest sporting event the Indian Premier League 2018. The partnership sees 4 IPL teams including the returning Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, featured in the Discover section of Snapchat.
Fans of these franchises can now use special tools & filters, which have been released by Snap Inc specific to this event, to celebrate the IPL. Fans can post snaps using these tools which add logos of one of these teams and other features.