Ah, Snapchat, the app that is so definitive of the millennial generation. From selfies to Geofilters to stickers, Snapchat is up to date with the trends of the times. Naturally, to withhold its au courant status, it releases updates every so often, ensuring that its audiences never get bored. (After all, we cannot forget the addition of the Snapchat lenses, which have truly turned out to be such a blessing.) Snapchat 2.0, the app’s latest update, was released Tuesday. Let me just say that with the new features, the terms “immediacy” and “ongoing” seem to come to mind.
Snapchat 2.0 puts more of a focus on the chat aspect of the app, which originally came in second to sending photos, the app’s overarching purpose. Now, however, when a friend is online on Snapchat, you can go to the chat area with the friend’s username, tap once and talk or video chat with them right away, thus removing the wait time for a friend to answer with apps like FaceTime or Skype.
According to CBS, this feature makes users feel more like they are talking to one another in person, and it helps Snapchat better compare to other social media platforms that focus more on sending messages. To further enhance the aspect of quick connection, Snapchat Stories also got a boost. Instead of a Story ending after that individual’s Story is over, the Snapchat Stories in your feed play as a continuous string until you exit out of them completely.
My thoughts on all these changes? Um, nope. Snapchat may have taken things a little too far this time. I use Snapchat because I like the quick blurb-iness of the app. I love it for its 10-second photos and videos and for the few friends’ Snapchat Stories that I actually care about.
If want to text someone, I will use the Messages app on my phone. If I want to call someone? Well, that is what I have a phone for. If I want to video chat with someone, I may as well stick to FaceTime. That way, I can talk to whomever I want whether or not they are fellow Snapchat users.
As a whole, it seems to me that Snapchat is attempting to become slightly omnipotent in terms of communication. It is becoming a little too power hungry. I completely understand its desire to compete — it is a competitive world out there. But its involvement in all tech-related communication is just not the beauty of the app. To me, it finds its value in its sheer simplicity — the brief and temporary photos and videos are innovative and alluring enough to make Snapchat stand out among other competitors. So please, for my sake and for the sake of many other Snapchat advocates, maintain the integrity of the app. It is just too good to lose.