Snapchat set to take on the likes of Whatsapp in the messaging arena
Snapchat has announced itself in the arena of fully fledged messaging apps with it’s latest upgrades. Any Snapchatters out there will know that it was previously cumbersome to have to switch out to Whatsapp or iMessage if you wanted to transition into good ‘old fashioned’ text conversation – well now you don’t. Snapchat is putting itself into the messaging arena with it’s new functionality.
It’s main differentiator when it hit the market was that once the message had been viewed it disappeared and this USP is continued for it’s video and text chats. Once viewed they disappear. What it does mean though, is that whilst you are in a conversation you can now resort to images, text and video within one platform. Great you might think, CEO Evan Spiegel most definitely does. But is it all plain sailing?
Not really! In an interview with the New York Times, he says that what his App is trying to do is facilitate free flowing conversation. But when it actually comes down to using the new functionality, it’s anything but free flowing. This is especially true of the new video function. In your chat window when both parties are online at the same time your camera button (send button equivalent) turns blue alerting you to the fact that video chat is now available
The issue is that you then have to keep your finger on the icon in order to maintain a video conversation. Not really the easiest thing to do and as some early adopters have found out, it’s very easy to drop a video call and miss out on half of what is being said, because you forget you have to keep your finger on the icon constantly. As one tech columnist pointed out, the interrupted nature of the conversation due to taking your finger off the button provides anything but the free flowing conversation Mr Spiegel mentioned in his interview.
You can still screenshot in video mode, when you have video mode enabled the camera automatically faces towards you, but should you screenshot, it faces backwards again briefly and much like Facebook’s messaging app, you can move the video bubble around the screen at your discretion.
Snapchat has become a messaging tool of choice for millennial’s due to the ‘disappearing messages’ function which in theory means no trail of evidence. These latest functionality additions show that Snapchat is not planning on going anywhere in the near future, other than on to more and more mobile devices. Latest figures suggest that Snapchat has around 30 million monthly users and these additions are aimed at building on this number. Positioning themselves against Whatsapp and indeed Facebook and Google’s messaging tools is a bold move, but with 450 million users and the fact that Facebook bought them earlier this year for $19bn. We don’t think Whatsapp is too worried about it’s market position.
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