Snapping Just Got Easier, Snapchat Unveils Its Web Version

Snapchat has launched a web version, that will allow snapping, chatting and video calling similar to the ones on the mobile app

The new development comes more than a decade since the Snapchat app was launched, the company is introducing Snapchat for Web, a new browser-based version of its service.

Snapchat subscribers will gain access to the new web app first, but eventually, it will be available to all users. It will support messaging and video calling for now, though the company plans to add support for its augmented reality lenses and the ability to send photo and video Snaps “soon.”

The firm says that the desktop version will not contain any ads or other revenue-generating features, to begin with, but it will introduce them in the future as it hopes to roll out the subscription-based premium version globally soon.

The goal is to give users the freedom to switch between their phones and computers, all while continuing their conversations on the platform.
The idea is similar to video calling services such as Zoom (ZM), which exploded in popularity during the pandemic, but with some selling points unique to Snapchat. Users will be able to initiate calls more quickly and easily because they’re already connected to friends and can see when others are online, according to the company. The change could help Snapchat increase engagement with its most dedicated users posing a threat to zoom.
Like with the app, the web version of Snapchat opens directly to the camera to encourage users to send photos to friends. In a sidebar, users will see a list of their recent friend conversations, where they can open snaps or start a chat. The web version won’t include all the features of the mobile app, such as the “Snap Map” where users can track their friends or the discover section — at least to start, according to the company.
Its unique signature photo lenses, the ones that can make users appear to have dog ears, freckles, or other features will also be incorporated in the video calls on the web version.

It’s not the first time Snap has experimented with desktop or browser-based features. The company previously made some Stories posts viewable on web browsers and brought its AR effects to the desktop with its Snap Camera app. But it is the first time some of Snapchat’s core messaging features will be available to users outside of the mobile app.