Snapchat announced the launch of a new group video chat feature Tuesday, allowing up to 16 users to chat with each other via its app. The service also added mentions to Snapchat Stories to make these more conversational.
The new video chat feature is being rolled out globally this week. The feature comes with support for filters, and users can also decide join with an audio-only feed, or even just respond with text chat messages to everyone.
In addition to live video chat, Snapchat also rolled out mentions for Stories, allowing users to tag each other much like they would on Twitter with the help of the @-symbol. Tagged users are being notified when they are mentioned in a story, and anyone who views a story can use tagged usernames to easily follow that user.
Both features are designed to make Snapchat more sticky and keep users engaged for longer. Mentions are part of Snapchat’s efforts to put a bigger emphasis of interaction between its users, something that the service has been focused on ever since it rolled out a redesign of its app earlier this year.
Video chat on the other hand directly competes with a number of chat apps catering to teens, including Houseparty and Facebook’s Bonfire app. Facebook also added group video chat to its Messenger app last fall.