Snapchat 2.0 brings GIF reactions and endless stories

30 Mar 2016

Snapchat users might have woken up to find the app is rather different from before, due to its 2.0 launch, which has brought in a range of new features, including GIF reactions and voice calls.

Snapchat 2.0 is being described by the company and its CEO, Evan Speigel, as a major upgrade that lets you ‘say what you want, how you want’.

The app is fast outstripping other forms of communication among millennials, and a growing number of older users, with 100m active daily users, and this signals its biggest push into it becoming an actual communication tool.

One of the biggest elements of the update that is likely to go down well with GIF lovers is the fact you can now send 10-second GIF-like reactions, called video notes, which can also play sound if the user holds down on the small thumbnail.

Equally big is the news that video and audio calls have arrived, which turn the app into a phone-like service, even if the person you’re trying to call isn’t already chatting with you.

The stories just keep coming

During these calls on Snapchat, you can then show the other person on the end a roll of photos you’ve taken before, or you can just toggle between all of the different ways of chatting as you change your surroundings.

So, for example, if you’re walking down the street on a video call with someone but are then about to get on a bus, you can switch to text chat and give everyone around you some peace and quiet.

From Snapchat’s analytics, the addition of auto-advancing stories, which will automatically queue up the next friend’s story, will be a boon for people just looking to sit back and do little, as well as giving Snapchat some extra views.

Stories, too, could be about to get a lot bigger with the addition of being able to add multiple photos at a time with all of the filter tools that come with them.

The update is available now on iOS and Android.

Snapchat app image via Dennizn/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic