Snapchat Group Chatting Is Finally Here!

by Lily Feinn

Snap, Inc. has released their latest Snapchat update just in time for the holidays, and as early as Dec. 13, lucky Snappers will find a bunch of new features under the tree. Snapchat Groups are here, for one thing; and what's more, two new creative tools to make your Snaps even more unique have arrived, as well. Looks like Santa finally got it right this year. Hooray!

The Snapchat Groups messaging feature is major, people. Instead of painstakingly selecting and sharing a brilliant Snap with each of your individual friends, snappers can now create a group of their closest contacts and blast out their image to everyone at once! Why did it take the app so long to come up with this? Well, maybe we shouldn't be looking this particular gift horse in the mouth; in the spirit of the holidays, let's just be grateful that group sharing is finally here.

With the new group feature, Snapchat users can send both Snaps and Chats to as many as 16 friends at once. To send a Snap out to a group of your nearest and dearest, hit the blue arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the preview screen to bring up your list of contacts. Select the names of friends you want to include in the group; then tap the new "Group" button in the upper righthand corner. The group you created will appear under the new "Groups" section in your contacts for future group Snapping ease. Keep in mind that these Snaps will not last long — each recipient can open and replay the Snaps sent to the group once before they disappear forever.

If you have a wordier message to send to your friends, swipe to the right to reveal the chat feature, and tap the "New Chat" button in the upper left hand corner. Select the names of all the friends that you would like to add to the chat, and hit the "Chat" button at the bottom of the screen to finalize the group.

When using the group chat feature, the names of those present in the chat will appear at the bottom of the screen, so you'll know who is viewing the messages at that moment. You can rename the chat, mute notifications, add someone or leave the group by tapping the menu icon in the upper left hand corner. To open a separate private chat from within the group, simply tap on one of your friend's names to start one-on-one messaging. The Chats and unopened Snaps sent via Snapchat Groups will be deleted after 24 hours. Snapchat's ephemeral nature lends itself to a more fun and casual way of conversing. So update that app and start a Snapchat party!

To up your artistic game, Snapchat is also introducing two photo editing tools: "Scissors" and "Paintbrush." The scissors tool streamlines copying and pasting in your Snaps; just use your finger to highlight the object you want to copy, and once you lift your finger, the object will paste on to your Snap in sticker form. The Paintbrush tool, meanwhile, allows you to give your Snaps in Memories a new look using different artistic styles. Both new features look like fun things to play around with.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a group of your closest Snapchat friends and get the conversation flowing!

Images: Screenshots/Snapchat