It was “about time” Snapchat brought its new ‘chat’ feature to market, according to Amaury Treguer, strategist at social media company, We Are Social.
The new feature allows users to have a txt or video conversation in real time, which Treguer believes is a smart move as it could attract users “less into sexting”.
“The new features offered by Snapchat are pretty basic compared to the offerings of competitors such as WhatsApp and Skype. It was about time to bring the chatting option to Snapchat,” he said.
“However, I still believe that this update is a smart move as it will allow the platform to attract a new breed of users (probably more grown-ups and less into sexting).”
Account director at Thinktank Social, Samuel Snowden, says that while the new feature resembles other instant messenger platforms it is "far from innovative".
“Snapchat’s recent social pimping is far from innovative with regards to development considering its resemblance to Facebook Messanger and Instagram.”
According to Snowdon, the 13-25 year old age demographic trust Snapchat’s “personalised, private and non-advertorial swag”.
“Given Snapchat’s social bravado with females and the youth market, this platform is going to become the future for retailers to communicate with their VIP members and brands to connect with their consumers on a personalised level.
“Ultimately Snapchat is a marketer’s dream, due to its instantaneous connection with a user and the ephemeral 1-10 second longevity of a snap. Snapthusiasts are aware of the messages short life span, so they instantly pay attention to it, absorbing every second of content received via Snapchat and in todays newsfeed scrolling age, no social ad spend can buy you that kind of consumer retention.”
“Other competitors should definitely be shaking in their social icons."
Check out the new feature below.
According to Snapchat’s blog: “Swipe right on a friend’s name in your Snapchat inbox to start chatting. When you leave the chat screen, messages viewed by both you and your friend will be cleared – but either of you can always tap or screenshot to save anything you’d like to keep (addresses, to-do lists, etc.)
“We let you know when a friend is Here in your Chat so that you can give each other your full attention. And if you’re both Here, simply press and hold to share live video – and Chat face-to-face.”
Brands have already capitalised on Snapchat’s potential for use in marketing and campaigns, with the Institute of Fitness introducing a Snapchat campaign beginning on Monday.
However social media agency behind the campaign, Thinktank Social, won’t be using the new feature.
“Sadly we won’t be integrating the platforms new chat and video calling interfaces into this campaign,” Snowden said.
“But we will definitely be integrating these new interfaces into our continued 2014 Snapchat channel strategy.”
We Are Social’s Treguer added: “In the fierce competition of the ‘App world’, if you want to survive and don't want to be quickly outdone by a new player, you better evolve rapidly and reinvent yourself regularly.
“Snapchat could quickly become a one-stop App that will allow users to text, send photos and video chat without switching Apps. Snapchat had to evolve and adapt in order to continue its expansion.”