Snapchat Puts ‘Chat’ Into Snapchat Service, Taking On Facebook-Owned Rival WhatsApp

Watch out all you instant messaging applications, Snapchat just learned how to send texts in traditional form. What started off as a disappearing photo and video sharing service is now becoming a full-fledged communication platform that combines fun and functionality. Suddenly it starts to make sense why Snapchat rejected two separate (and obscenely priced) offers from Facebook -- one for $1 billion and a followup offer for $3 billion -- which itself went on to acquired WhatsApp.

The WhatsApp acquisition is working out well for Facebook so far, but as Snapchat grows, team Zuckerberg may regret not making a more lucrative offer, as silly as that might sound (we can't imagine it's easy to turn down a $1 billion offer, let alone a $3 billion offer).

Snapchat Video

Snapchat's latest feature is simply called Chat. With today's update, you can swipe right on a friend's name in your Snapchat inbox to start texting each other. In keeping with Snapchat's popular disappearing theme, when you leave the chat screen, messages viewed by both you and your friend are cleared away. However, be warned that it's possible to save text via tap or screenshot -- that will come in handy if there's an address you need to save.

In taking a page from FaceTime and other services like it, you an also press and hold to share live video while chatting face-to-face. Like Chat, this isn't a groundbreaking feature, but it doe serve to flesh out what's already a popular app that was valued at up to $3 billion without these features.