Snapchat, which was once known as the "sexting" app, simply because pictures and videos expired after a short time and would be gone forever, has really started to gain momentum in the past few months. Adding in stories, as well as chat and Discover. Snapchat Discover allows for publications to reach a bigger audience through video on Snapchat. The company says that their initial publication partners have seen some great numbers since launching. Snapchat also made it so that you can chat with others, similar to DM. So if you see someone's story, you can swipe up and chat with them. Chat, which actually got a huge update today, is a big part of Snapchat.
The company has dubbed it "Chat 2.0", and it essentially brings GIF's, audio, video and text all into one place. Not to mention you now have over 200 stickers that are available. This is thanks to the recent Bitstrips acquisition that we reported on earlier this week, which cost Snapchat about $100 million. Bitmoji isn't actually available yet, but it should be soon. We have Video notes included in this update, so you can record a 10-second GIF-like loop and send that to other users. Like Instagram, it won't play audio unless the user taps on the video. Speaking of Audio, we have Audio notes as well. This allows you to send short voice snippets to other users. For those times you don't want to type. Video and audio calls are included in the update, as well as sending multiple photos at a time. You can also mark them up with the text, drawing and filter tools that are in Snapchat already.
When it comes to Snapchat Stories, they will now "auto-advance". What Snapchat means by that is that when you watch someone's story and it ends, you will auto-advance to the next story. Snapchat believes this will boost view counts as well as encourage posting by its users. Talking about Snapchat Stories, there is also a new Privacy Center site, that basically states that Snapchat will only temporarily save pictures and such that are submitted to Live stories. And it will delete everything else. This means that nothing about privacy is changing, it's just being more clear. That's always important for a company, especially one as large as Snapchat.
The update to Snapchat is rolling out today on the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. You should see it appear in your respective store in the next few hours.