Snapchat continues to roll out features to boost social engagement across its Android and iOS apps. The rollout is part of the app’s ongoing attempt to catch up with Instagram and TikTok, as Snapchat lags significantly behind the two titans when it comes to regular users.
The first novelty is the addition of Bitmoji reactions, similar to Apple’s iMessages reactions, which will also soon be introduced on WhatsApp. With this feature, users will be able to reply to messages with one of seven available Bitmojis. Users can simply long-press on a received message and reply to it with their choice of emoji. The second change is extremely valuable, as it allows users to preview everyone on the voice call before joining the call. This could help users prepare and ensure their safety. Lenses can now be easily added to video calls.
The third added feature allows users to add thematic answers to individual chat messages. This helps users find answers in the same thread instead of endlessly scrolling through thousands of answers. Users can simply long-press on a post that interests them, reply to it, and start threading replies.
The fourth and final feature is the inclusion of poll stickers, which can be used to create emoji-focused polls. These polls can also be shared in snaps and stories. They are available in the app’s sticker folder. Polls will have an element of transparency, allowing users to see how their friends voted at the polls. The potential for misuse also exists, so users should preferably create these polls only with their close groups or be careful about sharing personal information.
Snapchat has faced stiff competition from Instagram, thanks to its “Instagram Reels” feature, as well as TikTok. In January 2021, Instagram and TikTok had 1 billion and 800 million monthly users, respectively, compared to Snapchat’s relatively moderate 382 million. With these minor changes, Snapchat hopes to start holding its own in the social media space.
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