Zoom has an unlikely new competitor – Snapchat

Zoom has an unlikely new competitor – Snapchat

The goal is to give users the freedom to switch between their phones and computers, all while continuing the conversations on the platform. But the new desktop option can also help Snapchat (SNAP) tackle a surprising rival: Zoom.

While Snapchat is known for allowing users to send disappearing chats and photos, called snaps, video calling has become a popular feature of the app, according to the company. Snapchat said their app hosts more than 100 million video calls each month with up to 15 participants each. Now it hopes the service will be easier and more comfortable to use when people join these conversations from a desk.

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 make calls faster and easier because they are already connected to friends and can see when others are online, according to the company. Snapchat’s signature photo lenses – those that can make users appear to have dog ears, freckles or other features – will also soon be available for online video calling.

As with the app, the online 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 calls, where they can open snaps or start a chat. The online version will not include all the features of the mobile app, such as “Snap Map” where users can track their friends or discover the part – at least to get started, according to the company.

Snapchat launches an online version of the platform that allows users to send photos, chats and video calls from a computer.

“With so many in our community spending more time online, whether for distance learning or work, streaming or just surfing – we saw a huge opportunity to make it easier for our community to stay in touch throughout the day,” a spokesman for Snap, the app’s parent company, said in a statement.

To protect users’ security and privacy, Snapchat prohibits web users from taking screenshots of chats or snaps (the app alerts users if someone takes screenshots of their chat or photo). The company also created a “privacy screen” to hide the Snapchat window if users click away.

The launch comes as Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, has been beaten on Wall Street after posting a larger-than-expected loss in its latest earnings report and later warning investors that it had cut its upcoming quarterly forecast due to a deteriorating economy. Shares of Snap, which is set to report second-quarter results later this week, have fallen 70% since the beginning of this year.
Last month, Snap introduced a new paid subscription service called Snapchat + with the potential to increase revenue. The online version can be a draw for the new subscription option of $ 3.99 per month. At launch, the online version of Snapchat will be available to all users in Australia and New Zealand and to Snapchat + users in the US, UK and Canada. The service will soon roll out to Snapchat + subscribers in France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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