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Snapchat is growing up. The company announced on Thursday that it was adding chat and video features to it’s incredibly popular ephemeral photo-sharing app.

Now Snapchat looks like it could compete with WhatsApp, not to mention a host of ephemeral messaging apps like Confide and Wickr that popped up to cater to adults wary of an app with a reputation of being for sexting teens.

The new chat feature is pretty easy to access. Users simply swipe right on someone’s username in their inbox to start a conversation.

Before, Snapchat users could only send text in the form of captions on photos, resulting in a lot of terrible pictures being sent for the sake of the messages that accompanied them. Now, conversations don’t look much different from those in other mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and GroupMe, except these ones disappear after they take place.

Snapchat is also taking on like Apple’s FaceTime and Skype by introducing video-chatting. In an attempt to create more spontaneous, natural face-to-face conversations, video calls can only be initiated when a button on the bottom of the screen turns blue, which indicates that someone is actively looking at messages on Snapchat.


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