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Snapchat finally reaches desktops, but does it compete with Zoom?

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Snapchat finally reaches desktops, but does it compete with Zoom?


Snapchat is moving to the web, and muscling in on video-conferencing territory.

The mobile messaging app has created Snapchat for Web. Now, users can move seamlessly between devices and pick up the conversation on the big screen.

“With so many in our community spending more time online, whether it is for remote learning or working, streaming or just plain browsing, we saw a huge opportunity to make it easier for our community to stay connected throughout their day,” according to a Snap Inc media release.

Snapchatters will now be able to send snaps directly from their computer. The desktop version also retains the app’s messaging and calling features, including Chat Reactions and Chat Reply.

Video calling is key to the web version 

Starting as an ephemeral image sharing app over a decade ago, Snapchat didn’t introduce a video chat option until 2014. Group video calls then came along in 2018.

Now, Snap Inc is promoting video calling as a central part of the Snapchat for Web experience.

“With over 100 million Snapchatters making calls to their friends on Snapchat every month, we knew this was a critical element to get right,” says Ryan Thomas, Head of Synchronous Experiences at Snap Inc.

Thomas leads the company’s Sydney-based engineering group that developed calling for Snapchat. 

“We’re pleased that an important part of the Snapchat for Web experience has been created here in Australia and will be utilised by people all over the world,” he says. 

Snapchat calls for business or pleasure? 

But Snapchat for Web may not replace Zoom for your business meetings any time soon.

Snapchat’s ‘lenses’, which are typically rainbow or dog face filters on the mobile app, are coming soon to web calls. 

This webpage is more likely to be the one users minimise when their bosses walk by – and Snapchat has prepared for this too. A unique new ‘privacy screen’ hides the Snapchat window when a user clicks away for another task.

Popular among younger audiences, Snapchat is like Zoom and WhatsApp’s fun social counterpart. It’s probably better suited to remote parties than remote work.


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