On the 1/3/14 Snapchat sent out a snap to all their users stating they were;
This was the first major update since October 2013, when Snapchat introduced 'Snapchat Stories.'
At approximately 11am, Snapchat sent out a video snap that lasted 1:04 mins releasing all their big ideas for the next generation of snaps. It encourages you to double tap at the end of the snap to be sent to the App Store to get the new update. I was excited to get the update, but when I visited at the App Store the update was unavailable – this remained the case until 8pm. Looks like Snapchat jumped the gun.
This encouraged a lot of Snappy fans to take to Twitter and beg the question;- where's my update?
As a frequent Snapchat user I was keen to get the new update and test all of Snapchat's new features. I noticed instantly that Snapchat has had a whole new redesign, its camera feature is now refreshed with new bold typography, a clean fresh layout and a new search feature added – this makes it a lost easier to find a contact.
- Instant messaging
- Instant video messaging
- Able to upload photos from camera roll
It's now possible to instant message your friends via Snapchat – swiping your finger to the right will open up a private conversation. Here you are able to type a message or send a silly selfie. Text messages sent though Snapchat are deleted once you've left the conversation useless you save the message. This feature can get a little frustrating because if you leave the conversation for whatever reason, like answering a phone call and forget to save the message, the entire conversation would have been deleted. For an instant messaging service this is not ideal.
If both you and your contact are online, the yellow camera instantly turns blue, this enables you to start instant video messaging. Hold your finger at the bottom of the screen to enable the forward facing camera. By sliding your finger to the top of the screen the camera changes to outward facing camera. – This feature was actually quite cool, but the novelty soon wore off as I soon realised how annoying it was to hold your finger continuously on the screen giving a restricted view of what I was seeing.
During a private conversation it is now possible to upload existing photos from the camera roll. As far I can tell this feature is only available in a private conversation. Tapping the yellow camera opens up the camera feature. In the bottom right hand corner there is an option to upload pics from your camera roll – this has again taken away what Snapchat actually is, setting up photos to share with friends? This gives the users time to pose for the perfect selfie instead of a spur of the moment snap (the funny concept Snapchat has built it's fan base on) There is a plus side of course, it's always nice to share photos you’ve previously taken on your adventures and wish you could have Snapchatted them!
The initial point of Snapchat was a way of communicating without the need of a conversation.
Though the new features are some-what brilliant and a good idea; what actually sets Snapchat apart from other instant messaging services? Previously Snapchat was a way to say hello I’m thinking about you without the awkward.. .“hi how are you? yeah good you? yeah gd thanks" conversation.
For me, if I wanted to video call my friends I would use FaceTime or Skype. To me this is the best way of communicating, quick easy and effective.
The new features have the potential to be amazing! I think the update maybe a little rushed to in an attempt to compete with iMessenger, Skype, Kik and of course the instant messaging giant WhatsApp!
We a generation of communication that it's no wonder that Snapchat are trying to up their game with an instant messaging service. But Snapchat was a unique service. Instead of being who they were they have now become the same as everyone else… an instant messaging service.
To me Snapchat is now just another way to plan your weekend – but without the ability to keep the memories you’ve planned.