Snapchat Adds Text & Video Call Features, And This Is... Pretty Weird, Actually
Social media fiends (and dedicated selfie-takers) will probably have already noticed this new development: Snapchat has added live video and text messaging, which, true to the app, will disappear into cyberspace as soon as the user leaves the screen. The tech world has consequently been abuzz with praise, predicting massive popularity. But here's the key question — popularity among whom, exactly?
Essentially, the way it works is this: swipe to the right, and you'll enable the new 'Chat' feature. If both you and a friend are online at the same time, a blue icon will appear — if you hit that blue button (and keep your finger on the screen), then you can start what is essentially a FaceTime or Skype video conversation via Snapchat. You can also begin a 'live' text conversation (again, basically WhatsApp or Viber, Snapchat-style), which will stay visible to you as long as you're in that conversation. Swipe away from that screen, and the messages disappear — unless, of course, you screenshot the conversation to save it.
"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," the Snapchat team said on their blog.
Which is all... a bit weird. The beauty of Snapchat is, for some, the ability to take awkward selfies and send them to friends, with the comforting knowledge that your weirdly stretched nose/mouth combination will only be a mere blip in the life of your technological relationship. For others, obviously, it's all about the dick pics and the I'm-being-sexy-but-just-for-a-second allure.
And that all makes sense; there was a something of a void in the tech world before Snapchat came along. But who would go to the trouble of risking the need for screen-grabbing a conversation? Alternatively, what kind of text-message conversations need to leave no trace behind?
Let's face it: Disappearing text messages will be the go-to for cheaters. No more heart-in-the-throat moment when your lover's dirty text pops up in its green speech bubble on your home page. No more tiresome delete-alls after every clandestine I-want-you convo. No more saving the contact as "the delivery guy" and dreading the moment your partner will try to call for Indian and find it's actually Betty from next door on the other end of the line. Thanks to disappearing Snapchat texts, you can plan secret rendez-vous and do your dirty deeds without worry. (The same actually goes for anyone who's planning something they'd rather keep hidden. Worrying.)