Facebook was once only for college students, just as eBay supposedly got its start so people could find more Pez dispensers. Now it looks like Snapchat is about to grow up too. According to TechCrunch, the popular video messaging service is set to release new tools to broaden its user base.
Snapchat may soon include audio and video calling, as well as stickers within its chat interface. These features were uncovered within the existing code for Snapchat’s iOS app.
Once implemented, these tools “could make the app more competitive with traditional messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google’s Hangouts, or even Chinese messaging app WeChat – the latter, which Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has said in the past that he admires.”
Snapchat already supports video chat. Unlike services such as Skype and FaceTime, however, both Snapchat friends have to be in the app to start chatting. According to the leak, the new chat service would issue notifications when someone requests your presence. In other words, you wouldn’t have to be in Snapchat to receive an alert.
Launched in 2011, Snapchat is very popular with teenagers and millennials who have never lived in a world without smartphones and social networks. These demographics could change were Snapchat to implement more traditional communication tools.