Snapchat Adds 4 New Features, Including Much-Requested Group Chat

The hot app is in an arms race to stay cool

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Snapchat today revealed four new features for its app, as it pushes forward to become as popular as possible in the face of increasing competition for the attention of consumers and marketers. 

It's the Venice, Calif.-based company's latest product-related move in what's becoming an arms race in terms of which app has the best features, including other prominent players such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and others. 

Check out the quartet of additions below. Each is set to go live today, according to Snapchat.

1. Groups

This is the big one of the bunch for Snapchat, allowing up to 16 people to chat together. Additionally, it includes a way to leave the small online crowd to message with one of the persons in the group, and then—with one tap—rejoin the chat crew. Of course, stickers, bitmojis, voice notes and other digital accessories are available in group chat. 

2. Shazam capability

Snapchat addicts can now hold down on the app's camera to identify a song playing in their vicinity. A Snap Inc. rep explained further how it works: "When you Shazam a song, a pop-up box prompts you to learn more about the song. From there, you can listen to a preview clip, see lyrics, watch the Vevo video, and see recommended songs. The same options are available for songs you've Shazamed that are saved in settings."

3. Scissors

This feature lets users cut out part of a message and turn it into a custom sticker, which can be stored in their account. It launches today on Apple's iOS and will be followed by capability on Android devices soon.

4. Paintbrush

Details about this one are scant, but the gist appears to be that snaps—Snap Inc.'s vernacular for its messages—can be dressed up like never before with color and general artistic zeal.

Meanwhile, the battle of "best features" is heating up in mobile. For instance, Snapchat's expansions today comes on the heels of Instagram adding live stories and live video. And WhatsApp recently incorporated Snapchat-like camera capabilities while Facebook is testing the same concept.  

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.