After adding GIF stickers at the end of February — and then suspending them for racist content — Snapchat is taking a cue from Instagram with its newest feature, mentions. Now users will be able to tag friends, using their Snap usernames, in their stories. If you use Instagram Stories this should sound familiar. When somebody tags you in one of their stories, you’ll receive a notification in the app’s chat section. Again, if you use Instagram Stories this should sound familiar.
The app is also rolling out a group video chat feature, which is basically what it sounds like. Users will be able to video chat with up to 16 friends at a time. (The feature also works for up to 32 users with a group audio call.) Remember Houseparty? The multi-way video calling app that burst onto — and off of — the scene in 2017. Think that, but with the addition of Snapchat’s iconic filters, which will be available in the group video feature. To start a video call with a group of friends, just tap the video camera icon, which you should see soon in your chat section. Snapchat says it is rolling out both features globally in the coming weeks.
Once upon a time, it was Instagram that was blatantly copying Snapchat’s features. Now the pendulum has swung and it feels like Snapchat is doing anything and everything — including aping Instagram — to get users to stick around. Though I doubt mentions and the option to conference call with 30 people will be enough to bring back Rihanna.