Cool new tools in Snapchat

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Today, Snapchat released an update to their application for both iOS and Android. The update brings new features that were previously unavailable or limited to specific people. Now people can add backdrops, links and voice filters.

Let’s start off with backdrops. The feature allows a user to add colorful and artistic patterns to their snaps. After adding the pattern, you can then trace around an object to bring it into focus. To access the feature on Snap Chat, click the scissors from the vertical menu on the right top of the screen then the second icon (not the magic eraser or the stickers icon). After that, you will then see the different backdrops available. Currently there are only 8: smiley faces, matrix, roses, black dots, fence, flower, rainbow stream, and one which isn’t so easy to describe. The last one is made up of the fire and 100% emoji. Hopefully they will add more fun ones as time goes on.

The other feature they made available is the ability to add links in your Snaps. Previously, only brands, advertisers and people within the discovery section of the application could do this. Now everyone can link to a website and allow their Snap friends to swipe up to open the link. The link will be opened in their internal browser and hopefully they will be adding some form of security feature which checks to see if the link is safe or is leading to malicious content. To add a link, just click the money clip or paper click icon and then the option will be available.

Lastly, Snapchat users have been able to alter their voices within Snaps for a while now. However, this was only limited to when a person used a filter which used augmented reality to add extra things in the Snap like dog ears or a dog’s tongue. With this new feature, people can now choose one of four options from the speaker icon located at the left bottom of the screen after they’ve recorded a short video clip. The currently available filters area Alien, Robot, Dog and Chat. Each one changes the sound to sound like one of those things.

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All these features are in an effort to help bring new ways of story telling on Snapchat and give the social media application an edge above all the others. It’s interesting to see whether the application will end up being a way to share news and how quickly Instagram will catch up to them. Do you use Snapchat? If so why and what do you think about these new features.

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