The popular social media app Snapchat released an update to add texting and enhanced video capabilities for users. Youngsters were so eager to get the new features that some teachers say it disrupted their day as nothing ever has.
Parents with teens and tweens who have an iPhone or Android have probably seen the latest gadget used on a daily basis, the one with the yellow welcome screen and white ghost.
Each time a Snapchat is sent or received the friendly ghost alerts to the new message.
Initially, the app was a quick way to have a back and forth with friends and continued as long as they wanted to keep it going. Users had the capability of adding some text to the image, as well as draw doodles, like hearts or smileys to make their Snapchat really special. It also had some video capabilities.
Snapchat’s update was the biggest one to-date. It debuted on Thursday to the delight of kids who are ready to enjoy having more conversations than just one-time image exchanges.
In a post on Snapchat’s blog, developers said:
“Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence. There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting.”
This update was delayed by a few days, but is now available for all Snapchat users with iPhones and Androids.
Snapchat made improvements all around, including their camera performance, which admittedly did not have the highest quality:
“The images might be a little grainy, and you may not look your best, but that’s the point. It’s about the moment, a connection between friends in the present, and not just a pretty picture,” Snapchat’s App Store used to say.
But the biggest change in Snapchat is the new texting option, which will allow friends to actually hold a conversation as opposed to just writing the maximum 45-characters that was previously allowed.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the text option is only available between Snapchat users that already have contact. To text with a new contact, users will have to start the same way they did with the old version and move on.
The Snapchat video happens when both users have the option open and are participating in the same conversation. In other words, it happens in real time.
It appears Snapchat has given users a lot of new options to explore which will keep them busy for a time. Teachers will have to pay close attention to those who try to sneak their phones in the classroom.