Snapchat’s New Voice and Video Chatting Features Should Get Wireless Providers’ Attention

App releases major update

In under two years, people have gone from asking what Snapchat is to asking what it can't do.

The Venice, Calif.-based company today released an update that lets its 100 million daily users make video and audio calls, among other things. During video or audio calls, Snapchatters can simultaneously send photos that appear as an overlay in the chat window.

The feature should get the attention of telecoms and wireless providers that want Gen Zers and millennials, who may become accustomed to free calls, to pay for phone services. Other free digital communication services like Skype and WeChat are already disrupting the space with free calling, and now, here comes white-hot Snapchat.

And on that note, T-Mobile appears to be already adapting to the changing environment. The telecom company is set to release data-only wireless plans Wednesday for as low as $20 per month, according to TmoNews

At any rate, Snapchat's Chat 2.0 also lets people communicating with each other instantly switch back and forth between video and audio calls, notes, stickers and text messages. 

In addition, the update lets users do the following:

  • Record video notes of up to 10 seconds and send them in GIF-style loops
  • Send audio notes that work as pithy voice snippets
  • Auto-advance videos so the clips in Snapchat Stories just roll and roll, letting users kick back and watch a bevy of content
  • Utilize more than 200 stickers