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Snapchat's Latest Update Is Major

Photo: Courtesy Snapchat.
Snapchat reigns in the world of face swaps, but its chat system has always seemed like an afterthought, especially when you compare it to Facebook Messenger. Yet the app's latest update, available today, takes Chat to the next level.

Chat 2.0 introduces three brand new features: video chat and audio calls, video and audio notes, and stickers.

The first of these is self-explanatory: you tap the call or video button, located above the keyboard, to talk to or video chat with a friend. This doesn't add a whole lot to the Snapchat experience, but it is nice to have the option to quickly call someone after looking at their Snap without having to leave the app.

Video and audio notes, which you access by pressing and holding down the video or call button, let you send a short video or audio recording. If you really want a friend to see the same sunset you're seeing, for example, you can now message a 10 second video clip their way. Also, voicemail-like notes don't seem to have a time limit.

Again, this isn't a major step above what you can already do in other messaging platforms, but it does help make Snapchat a more all-inclusive app by seamlessly bringing together audio, video, and photo.

The best part of Snapchat's update is probably the option to send stickers. While some stickers are already available for you to use to decorate your snaps, there are plenty of new options that you can now include in your messages (many of these include images of adorable animals such as dogs and sloths). You can also type a word such as "love", then press the sticker button (also found above the keyboard) to see if there are any stickers that are a fit.
Photo: Courtesy Snapchat.
"What we love most about the new Chat is how easily you can transition between all these ways of communicating — just like you do in person," Snapchat said in a release regarding the update. "When that’s possible, you aren’t texting, calling, or video chatting… you’re just talking."

We'll have to wait to see if the app, which has primarily established itself as a photo sharing platform, is able to conquer the messaging world, too. Ultimately, Chat 2.0 seems like a smart attempt to do so.