May 4, 2016Published by: Samantha Sy

What Snapchat, the King of micro-moments, has in store for us

Snapchat has evolved a huge amount since its inception in September 2011 and we've kept a keen eye on this social messaging platform as it has continued to grow, and draw in users from across the globe with its innovative and addictive features. One of those is the ability to apply filters, and in March for our third birthday, we set about creating our own custom made Snapchat filter.

Snapchat boldly declined a cash offer from Facebook of $3 billion (£1.9 billion) in March 2015, at a time when it was valued at $15 billion (£10 billion). Just over a year later, the valuation has gone up by another $1 billion (£684 million) according to reports, making it worth much more than its older competitors as Twitter is valued at $10 billion (£6.84 billion) and Pinterest at $11 billion (£7.53 billion).

Techcrunch gives a brief overview of Snapchat's history, if you're interested in learning more about how the King of micro-moments came about.

Earlier this month, Snapchat released its latest update, 'Chat 2.0', which brought a storm of new, fun and innovative features. We've had a play with them and are keen to take you through them so you can get involved too!

1. Audio, video, GIFs and stickers all rolled into Chat!

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Chat has taken on Facebook-esque qualities: using stickers, audio, videos and GIFs so you can communicate with your friends in all the best ways. Users can choose from 200 stickers, they can audio call, video call, leave video OR audio notes, send multiple photos, and even send photos while on a call to those on their friends list.

Snapchat has still kept its quirks by including additional secret and ambiguous features that make many users curious. For example, if you write any word like "hi" or "food" then click on the sticker icon, you're able to find stickers related to those words! Also, that small smiley face in the corner of your chat just means the other person is also on chat at the same time as you! 🙂

2. Emoji... videos??

Did you spot the hidden donut? 😛 Replay it if not 😉

This new update lets users pin motion tracking emoji stickers onto your videos! Users can resize, move and add multiple stickers to their videos which enables us a lot more creative freedom!

3. Stories auto advance

Snapchat stories are "compilations of Snaps that create a narrative. Stories honor the true nature of storytelling — Snaps appear in chronological order with a beginning, middle and end" as described by Snapchat. Stories show your friends or followers what you're up to or what you want to show. Unlike Facebook's status updates or tweets, stories will be on your account for 24 hours then they'll disappear! (Spooky ?)

Before the update, you could view stories then have to click on stories separately to view them. Now, Snapchat stories play one after the other.

This is a super important milestone as like Netflix's, "Are you still watching *insert fave tv show*?' Snapchat has adopted the sit back, relax and watch culture. So no more swiping, just sit back, relax, and watch all the stories! 🙂

4. Caption limit has more than doubled

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Initially, the caption on Snapchat used to be limited to 33 characters which only fit one line of text. Now, Snapchat has more than doubled its character limit, although they haven't specified how much by. You can say what you like, in however many letters or emojis you like! Of course, within the limits and within reason. 😀 Caption are generally used in addition to the image or video, for humour or extra description.

Remember, if you can't say what you'd like within the character limit, you can always add on stickers!

5. Lenses

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We all loved the face swap feature introduced in February but the new update takes it once step further. It automatically recognises faces in your photos and swaps them! You can send these fun and creepily curious photos of your faces swapped round, directly to their Snapchat (mind.blown.).

Mashable has highlighted 7 hidden features of Snapchat's new update. We've already covered most of them but check it out if you'd like to know how to send your location and share links on chat.

Once upon a time, we could count the all different types of Snapchat users from artistes, to snap braggers and the midnight snappers. Snapchat's user base is growing exponentially each day, with users watching 10 billion videos per day according to Bloomberg. Are you a video lover, a face swapper, a filter addict, a feline fanatic or a chronic screenshotter?

Snapchat is a major player and is rivalling the top dog social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp, by mimicking their role as a news, social and messaging platform. It's only onwards and upwards for Snapchat! We're super excited to see what their future updates may hold.

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