A new snapchat update was made available today. I remember downloading Snapchat on my iPhone back when the first version released in 2011. Used it for a day. Then hit DELETE. It was not practical. It was kind of useless to do anything and a bit weird. It was not user friendly and it was confusing. Also, not many used it. To send photos to my friends, I had to add them as friends and then send. It did not make itself as a daily messaging service. I always told myself Snapchat would die. But I was wrong.

snapchat_screenshot1An update rolled out today. This might probably make me ditch other messaging services. You can finally chat with your friends and also make video calls. A lot of text messaging apps have been doing this. Whatsapp said they’ll be integrating voice calls to the app. But they all never had any innovation to them. They all worked the same.

The new update not only brought texting and voice calls, they did that in a way which would make any other app look like a joke.

First is the text chat. You can send your friends text messages without any time limits. They can see it as long as they want. But, once they close the app, those messages get deleted.

Next is the video calls which is actually amazing. When both you and your friend are on the chat at the same time, the round button used for sending photos changes to blue indicating both are on the app. Holding the round button would start a video call instantly with no lags and no waiting on any end. Pushing that button to the top half of the screen would show the front camera and sliding it down to the bottom would activate the back camera. Releasing the button would end the call. As simple as that. Till yesterday, I thought the easiest way to make a video call is FaceTime. Well, there is a far easier way and Snapchat seems to have it. This way, when I have something long to tell my friends, I don’t have to type it. I can just activate the video call and tell them in an instant. We did have few issues at times and we hope Snapchat would fix them in the future updates.

Back when Snapchat turned down Facebook’s offer, I thought they were dumb because they did not have any revenue model and though the number of users was increasing at that time, the app did not have much for them. Now, I am actually happy that they were not bought by Facebook and they continue to innovate.

I will continue to use Snapchat for a very long time now and they seem to be going in the right direction.

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Managing Editor at Techzei.

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