Thoughts on Tech: Snapchat's Major Upgrade

140102171531-snapchat-app-story-topFirst we had the "Snap", now we have the "Chat". The popular app that turned down a $3 Billion offer from Facebook last year is looking to expand and grow in 2014. With over 40 million current users, Snapchat has become a primary alternative messaging tool for millennials jumping ship from networks like Facebook and Twitter. It is widely used among teens and young adults because it is easy to use, it's visually pleasing, and of course, the fact that your "snaps" automatically disappear.The storytelling and moment sharing has always been there, but in my opinion they were missing one important characteristic, the ability to react and discuss in real time. Sure you can add short notes over your photos, but it's limited at best. As Snapchat stated in their blog post announcement, "We felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence. There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting". And the best part, these messages also automatically disappear, just like your photos and videos.The app has also added free video chatting, another function useful to create a conversation that is here and now. With addition of both of these functions, Snapchat is competing directly with other messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Just go to your Snapchat inbox, swipe right, and your chatting begins!More info from TheNextWeb and LA Times. To see their formal announcement, check out the video below! - @kyledineen