As it continues to add new capabilities in its ongoing battle with Instagram, Snapchat today has announced a pair of notable new features for its mobile application: Group Video Chat and Mentions support…

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First and foremost, Snapchat has introduced a new Group Video Chat feature. This feature allows groups of up to 16 friends to instantly start video chatting together, as you can see in the above screenshots. Meanwhile, group audio chatting can support a whopping 32 friends at once.

Starting a group call in Snapchat is relatively straightforward. You simply enter an existing Group Chat, or create a new one with the friends and family you want to talk to, and tap the video icon to start a Group Video Chat, or the phone icon to start an audio call.

From there, all users of the group will be notified that they have been invited to a call. From that notification, they can seamlessly join the call and start chatting.

If you’re wondering about support for Snapchat’s iconic filters and face effects, have no fear. The company says Lenses are supported during Group Video Chats.

In addition to Group Video Chat, Snapchat today also announced support for Mentions. This means that whenever someone mentions another user in their Story, that user will receive a notification via Chat informing them of the mention. This feature was originally reported last month, but it’s now rolling out to a broader audience.

Mentions in Snapchat work just like they do in other applications. Simply start typing a user’s @ name and you should see a suggestion pop up, allowing you to easily tag that person in your Story.

Snapchat continues to face intense competition from Instagram, and both companies have been adding features at a brisk pace recently. Snapchat’s Group Video Chat feature is certainly a notable addition that sets it apart from Instagram, but whether or not users take advantage of it remains to be seen.

Both Group Video Chat and Mentions will roll out to Snapchat users around the world over the next few weeks. What do you think of these new features? Will you use either of them? Let us know down in the comments!

Snapchat is a free download on the App Store.


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