Snapchat mania: Teens go nuts after update brings text chat, video calling

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Snapchat delivered a new update this week to its Android and iOS app, and as we said at the time of the announcement, this is going to be huge. We just didn’t know how huge.

In the US, students caused a near breakdown in everyday classroom life, when the new update went live. One teacher tweeted that it’s the most disrupting thing in her 16-year-long teaching career. Kansas-based High school teacher Tracie Schroeder tweeted about her classroom going into chaos after students got the update.

In 16 years of teaching I can’t think of anything that has ever disrupted my classroom more than today’s @snapchat update.
She told Business Insider that she had to take away the students’ phones and that they tried every trick in the book to use the app. Some even hiding under their desks. “I have no idea what all was included in the update, but you would have thought it was crack. They seriously could not keep away from it.”

In any case, she hoped that the ordeal would end soon once the update is no longer new. “For quite awhile now, kids have had a real anxiety about being separated from their phone, but today it was near panic. I am hoping by tomorrow some of the novelty will have worn off and we can get back to business.”

Snapchat’s wild success is down to the privacy factor and the self-destructing snaps mean teenagers can share freely without worries of parents snooping or others watching. The idea clicked and last year, Snapchat was turning away offers from Facebook and Google.

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Video chatting on the new app

We know why now, because it had bigger ideas for its app and it seems to have worked like magic. With the new video calling and text messaging features, Snapchat ‘owns’ the teenager and his smartphone usage. Wanna send a text, or a photo or have a video chat? Snapchat does it all. It literally stole the thunder from apps such as Kik, Tango and Oovoo, which were the go-to options for text-based chats or video chats. It may even eat into the usage time for WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with the new update.

It’s a genius move on part of Evan Spiegel and Co that will no doubt push the evaluation of the company to magnitudes larger than the $3 billion and the $4 billion that Facebook and Google were prepared to offer. How much is anybody’s guess after Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp. But nobody ask the teens; they are too busy fawning over the new Snapchat.

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