Snapchat is known for doing two things very, very well: Taking photos or videos and then destroying them after a time limit. Now as the startup looks to expand its reach, it looks to transform itself into a full-fledged messaging business to rival the likes of WhatsApp or Viber.
On Thursday morning, Snapchat, one of our Most Innovative Companies in Social Media, told users it was adding new messaging features. Snapchatters can now send and receive text messages, and have a real-time video conversation with their pals from inside the app. “The goal has always been to move beyond messaging,” cofounder Evan Spiegel tells the New York Times. “We’re trying to take the traditional text conversation and make it better.”
While the focus on disappearing photos and videos is still core to Snapchat, the idea is to use these new features to deepen the level of interaction (and, you know, keep users from switching to other applications). To that end, Snapchat is still focused on minimizing a user’s digital footprint. One would imagine that the next wave of Snapchat murder mystery short films are about to get a bit more interesting.