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Snapchat introduces new text and video chat feature

Snapchat will now include the option to have a longer text chat, or switch to video for some face time adding to the gone-in-an-instant photo and video messaging service.

By Ananth Baliga

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1 (UPI) -- Snapchat introduced a new text and video chat feature that they say will enhance the messaging experience rather than users having to switch between apps.

The service, known for its gone-in-a-few-seconds photos and Vine-like videos, said that it was trying to make conventional texting more interactive and deepen the experience of their core service. The new feature allows for a longer text chat or users can switch to video for some "face time."

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“The goal has always been to move beyond messaging,” Evan Spiegel, one of the company’s founders, said in an interview in New York. “We’re trying to take the traditional text conversation and make it better.”

“If I’m walking around and want to show you something, why do I have to switch apps?” he added. “It stops the conversation and makes it a transaction, rather than free-flowing.”

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Users can swipe to the right across a friend's name and stat a text conversation, which will disappear and be bleared as soon as you leave the chat screen. The app will show users if the friend is "Here," or online, and users can they share live video and chat face to face.

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The video chatting feature will work on both WiFi and cellular networks.

Snapchat's last major update came in October last year, when they introduced "Stories," a feature that lets users post their Snapchats to all their friends.

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On January 1, nearly 5 million Snapchat accounts were temporarily posted online by hackers who took advantage of a previously disclosed vulnerability within the service.

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