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Zoom has an unexpected new competitor – Snapchat

24.07.2022 08:33 AM
Zoom has an unexpected new competitor – Snapchat
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Zoom has an unexpected new competitor – Snapchat

The goal is to give users the freedom to switch between their phones and their PC, while still continuing their conversations on the platform. But a new desktop option might also help Snapchat (immediately) faced a surprising competitor: Zoom.

While Snapchat is known for allowing users to send hidden chats and photos, called snaps, video calls have become a popular feature of the app, according to the company. Snapchat said its app hosts more than 100 million video calls each month with up to 15 participants each. Now he hopes the service will become more intuitive and fun to use when people join these calls from a desktop computer.

The idea is similar to video calling services like Zoom (ZM), which have gone viral during the pandemic, but with some unique Snapchat selling points. According to the company, users will be able to initiate calls faster and easier because they are already connected to friends and can see if others are online. Snapchat's premium photo lenses - those that can make users look like they have dog ears, freckles or other features - will soon be available for video calling on the web version.

As with the app, the web version of Snapchat opens directly to the camera to encourage users to send photos to friends. In the sidebar, users will see a list of their recent conversations with friends, where they can open Snaps or start a conversation. The web version won't include all of the mobile app's features, such as a "Snap Map" where users can follow their friends or a Discover section — at least to get started, according to the company.

“With many members of our community spending more time online, whether for remote learning, working, streaming or just browsing, we saw a huge opportunity to enable our community to survive longer. Easily connected all day long,” a spokesperson for Snap, the app's parent company, said in a statement.

To protect user security and privacy, Snapchat for the web blocks users from taking screenshots of chats or screenshots (the app alerts users if someone has taken screenshots of a chat or photo). The company also created a "privacy screen" to hide the Snapchat window if users click elsewhere.

The launch comes as Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, took a hit on Wall Street after posting a larger-than-expected loss in its latest earnings report and later warning investors that it had cut its next quarterly guidance due to the deteriorating economy. Shares of Snap, which is expected 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 web version may be a withdrawal of the new $3.99 per month subscription option. At launch, the web version of Snapchat will be available to all users in Australia and New Zealand and Snapchat+ users in the US, UK and Canada. The service will soon roll out to Snapchat + followers in France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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