The company has copied a feature offered by Messenger, Hangouts, Skype, and Houseparty.
(CCM) — Snapchat users can now have video chats in groups of up to 16 people at once, or 32 people if the chat is restricted to voice only, CNBC is reporting.
Once a call is established between two people, friends of either user can be added to the call. During these group chat sessions users can apply face filter lenses to their faces, according to the report.
Previously Snapchat users could only make video calls with one other person, but the new feature brings Snapchat into line with Facebook's Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype, and start-up Houseparty, all of which allow group calling.
Snapchat is also copying a popular Instagram feature by adding "Mentions." This feature allows users to tag people who appear in their Stories. The user who is tagged will then receive a notification that they have been tagged in someone else's Story.
The new features are designed to ensure that Snapchat users remain engaged with the service and spend more time using the app. This should help Snapchat continue its strong growth – last quarter its daily active user rate grew by 17.7% compared to the previous year. By contrast, Facebook grew at a more pedestrian 2.2%.
The new group calling feature was launched today and will roll out to users around the world in the near future.
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