The app has launched a group video calling feature in the new update. Along with it the update also includes mentions, or tagging of friends, in Snapchat Stories. With the update, users will be able to video chat with 16 people and also voice chat with up to 31 people, according to a Snap release. The company also added a feature that is already available in competitor Instagram stories: the option to tag friends in stories in the app.
To access the voice and video chats, just swipe over the chat section of a Snapchat group and tap either the phone or video camera button to send an invite to everyone in the group. Try on the wackiest filter you can find, and wait for your friends to join the call.
Snapchat added the option to video and voice chat to the app in 2016 but is expanding it with the latest update.
Users can either open a group chat they already have in Snapchat or they can start a new one and then select the small video icon in the chat. This starts the live video call in the app, while pressing the phone icon starts a voice call with the people in the group instead. When a user does this, the other users in the chat will be notified that they are invited to join the call. Friends can choose to only join via voice if they don’t want to video join the call.
While using the video chat feature, users will have access to the face filters and lenses in the app. Users can tell who else is in the call because their name will appear in a bubble above the keyboard, Snapchat said.
Beyond video chat, Snapchat is finally adding user mentions. That feature has been long available in Instagram and allows for people to be notified of their inclusion, and for viewers to swipe up and choose to add their profile or view their Snapchat Story. The update helps not only the casual Snapchat user but could also improve the experience of social media influencers who hope to grow their followers on the app.
The update is rolling out to users globally this week.