Snapchat Leak Reveals An Upgraded Messaging Experience With Audio & Video Calling

A number of new features have been spotted within the existing code for Snapchat’s mobile app, including audio and video calling, as well as stickers within Snapchat’s chat interface, among other things. Assuming Snapchat actually rolls out the updated code to its broader user base, the additions 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.
Specifically, the CEO said he appreciated the way Asian messaging apps make money – including via digital content, games, commerce and more. And with Snapchat’s Alibaba backing, it’s not surprising that the app may going more in the direction of Asian messaging apps, and their in-app commerce potential. That’s something that integrating stickers into chat could help to enable.
After all, Snapchat’s earlier experiment with charging for in-app selfie lenses was shut down this month, indicating the company is still on the lookout for other sources of revenue. And stickers are a lucrative business for apps like WeChat and Line, which make millions by selling stickers on their platforms.
In addition to possibly paving an avenue toward monetization, rolling out stickers to Snapchat’s chat interface could make the app a better rival to the dominant mobile messaging applications today, as would the new audio and video calling features.
Snapchat currently supports video chat – but it’s difficult to use because both friends have to be present in the app at the same time in order to start video chatting. That makes the feature less practical than the calling features found within other messaging apps, including also Apple’s built-in communications app FaceTime and cross-platform messaging apps, like Skype.

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