At inception, Snapchat was more of a self-destruct image viewer than actual “chat” application. An incoming update takes the service away from that functionality a bit, and will now offer actual chat capability. Users will also soon be able to take advantage of video, making face-to-face chat possible.
Chat in Snapchat works simply enough; when you swipe right form a friend’s name, a chat starts. If they’re online, you and the other party can start chatting away. You can save the chat by taking a screenshot or choosing the ‘save conversation’ option from the menu, but if you do neither, the chat implodes. When one of the people in the chat leaves, the thread deletes, just as pictures do when you send them.
Video is similarly functional, wherein two people in a text chat can migrate to a video format, which of course doesn’t save or record in any way. This feature brings Snapchat in line with other messaging platforms, and is a much needed shot in the arm for the service.
The new features are rolling out soon, and gently pull Snapchat away form its label as a “sexting” app. Now more than ever, Snapchat offers features other messaging platforms do, but keeps the one thing that made it attractive to begin with — self-destructing messages.