Snapchat has been having a bit of a time of it these past few months. After installing an update that had even its most loyal customers miffed (I'm looking at you, Kylie Jenner), the media sharing app has been struggling to win back its fan base. And it's possible the company has managed to find a new feature to do just that. Users are going to be checking out how to add friends to group video chat on Snapchat and hopefully even a Kardashian or two will show the app a little renewed love.
Snap Inc. announced on Tuesday that it would be rolling out a group video chat on the app later this week. The feature will allow a group of up to 16 people to take part in a video chat at once, and they'll even be able to use the de rigeur custom Snapchat face lenses like puppy dog ears and rainbow vomit. Snap Inc. noted in a press release that now users can video chat with up to 16 of friends at once. You just have to tap the video camera icon in a Group Chat to get your friends together, and friends in the Group Chat will receive a notification inviting them to join. Then you can use Lenses, or just join in on the chat via voice only, or send messages that your other friends can read on the screen while they talk.
If you want to add friends to a group chat, Snap Inc. outlined steps on its website:
- Simply enter an existing Group Chat, or create a new Group with the friends or family you’d like to see.
- Tap the video icon to start a live group video call, or tap the phone button to start a voice chat. Each group member will be notified that they’ve been invited to a call.
- When a group member opens the call, their name bubble will light up above your keyboard. This lets you know they’re on the group call, too.
You can have a group chat with up to 32 people via voice chat (only 16 can use video chat), and managing a group is easy as well. Users can go to group settings to add friends when they choose, by adding to the group story and updating chat notifications. It's important to point out that, if you decide to change the name of a group, every single person in the group is going to be able to see the new name. So it's probably a good idea to proceed with caution.
Much like other features in Snapchat, group video chats will disappear after 24 hours. If you leave group chat, any snaps or chats you sent will disappear as well. And if you're wondering who has seen your chat or who saved it, just tap or press and hold the chat button and you'll see whichever person has viewed your chat.
This new feature should prove popular with Snapchat users who have been vocal about the most recent update, which some found to be needlessly complicated. When social media influencer and new mom Kylie Jenner took to Twitter to announce that she was curious as to "what's up with Snapchat;" the company lost $1 billion in one day. While it's unlikely that Jenner managed to take down a company with one tweet, it seemed to point to the fact that Snapchat needed to make some changes before losing more users. Enter group video chat and another feature the company is rolling out called Mentions. Snapchat mentions will enable users to let their friends know what they're up to. Simply use the "@" symbol with a friend's name and they'll be mentioned, much like the popular, similar function on Instagram.
Both of the new features are expected to roll out globally within the next week. So start assembling your groups now, I guess.