Snapchat Unveils Massive Update With Text Messaging, iPhone-to-Android Video Calls


I’m really not sure how Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel does it. The dude’s 23 years old, invented an app that specializes in making all the girls get nekkid, turned down billions from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to buy said app, and was recently honored as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people on Earth. Compare that to me at 23, a guy that can barely feed and clothe myself and who just figured out how to wipe correctly.

Like any genius, he doesn’t give a shit about any of that, and really only interested in one thing: Changing the world. Easy task, right? Well, with the most recent update to the Snapchat app, he might have done just that.

The newest update to the increasingly-popular app now allows you to text within the app, and in typical Snapchat fashion, the messages disappear once you leave the app. However, the most important part of the app comes in the form of seamless, instantaneous video chatting. You can now use Snapchat to video call a friend at a moment’s notice – and even more significantly, you can now video chat across different phone and operating system platforms. So yes, you can now use your iPhone to video chat with someone using an Android, phone-to-phone, over cellular data. That’s pretty freaking sweet.

Spiegel sees spontaneous communication as a lost art, and wants to redefine how we use technology to speak with the people we love: “Typing and read receipts make a lot of sense for messaging,” said Spiegel. “You write a letter, you put it in an envelope, you send it to a friend, and you want to know when they get it. It’s like FedEx — they let you know when the package gets dropped off.”

But Spiegel believes that the best kind of chats, the kind you want to save and think about over and over again, are the kind where both people pay attention to what they’re saying, like a real conversation where you’re actually in the same room as the person you’re speaking with: “We’re trying to get rid of these weird boxes that we put media into and get to the essence of conversation — that we’re both here.”

Lofty ideals from the man who made instantly sending “n00dz” a whole lot easier. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.

[via The Verge]

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