New Snapchat Groups feature lets 16 friends chat at once

13 Dec 2016

The rivalry between Snap and the Facebook stable, including Instagram and WhatsApp, is heating up. Image: kenary820/Shutterstock

The Snapchat app is rolling out a new Group feature that lets up to 16 friends chat with each other at once.

The move once again ups the ante against Facebook and WhatsApp’s suite of features.

Users can see who is present in a group chat at the bottom of their screen.

Just like with all messages on the Snapchat app, Chats or Snaps are deleted after 24 hours and can only be replayed once.

“Groups can be created while sending a Snap, or when you’re making a new Chat,” the company said.

“When your friends are present in a Group Chat, we show their name at the bottom of the Chat. Simply tap their name to start a 1:1 Chat, and then easily return to the Group in one swipe!

“We call this Quick Chat, and it’s the fastest way to keep the conversation going with one friend without spamming the entire Group.”

Ghosting past the competition

Snapchat this year surpassed Twitter with 150m daily users, compared to the latter’s 140m.

Parent company Snap Inc is understood to be planning a monster IPO in March 2017. It aims to raise $4bn in a flotation that will value the company at up to $25bn.

Snap Inc, which was founded only four years ago, earlier this year raised $1.8bn in a gigantic funding round, valuing the company at $18bn.

The company was founded in Stanford University by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, while they were students.

Snap Inc began under the name Picaboo, inspired by the concept of messages that would disappear, hence the ghost logo for the company.

Snapchat messaging app. Image: kenary820/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years