Snapchat taps into mob mentality, adds group video chat feature

Snapchat announced the launch of a video group chat feature for up to 16 users at a time. / Snapchat

Snapchat announced a new feature to its in-app experience today (April 3): a group video chat for up to 16 people.

Using the video camera icon in a group chat, users can chat with their friends, utilize Snapchat’s lenses, and send text messages or chatting throughout the video conversations.

The announcement comes on the heels of Snapchat’s first brand campaign, which launched on March 31. The app proclaimed itself “A new kind of camera company” in a minute-long spot, a nod to its app experience building over 187 million users globally, as well as its physical Spectacles offering.

On its blog, the social platform explained: “We designed Chat to feel less like texting and more like hanging out. That’s why when a friend opens Chat, their Bitmoji pops up to say “I’m here!” – and why your Chat conversations aren’t saved forever, by default.”

Snapchat has had a choppy year as of late: after a successful launch of branded e-commerce functionality with Jordan Brand and R/GA for the NBA All-Star game and helping Chicago Cub Kris Bryant and Red Bull launch a limited-edition series of energy drinks, the platform has dealt with backlash from influencers over its app redesign, and from celebrities such as Rihanna after an incendiary ad surfaced promoting domestic violence was approved to run.

Despite good and bad news, Snapchat has found its stock price bolstered by the influx of new users and adtech deals.

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