Snapchat today announced that users on iOS and Android will soon be able to begin group video chats with up to 16 friends at once. The feature’s addition comes about two years after Snapchat first introduced video and voice chat in spring 2016.
To start a group video chat, users will need to enter an existing group chat — or create a new one — and then tap the video icon. This will notify every group member that the other people in the chat are joining in on a group video call, and as they join their name bubble will light up above the keyboard to confirm they’re on the call.
For bigger groups, Snapchat said that up to 32 people will be able to join a group voice chat, but video chat will be capped at 16 members. If someone wants to join the video call but doesn’t want to use their camera, they’ll be able to choose a chat entry option that only uses their voice, and toggle between video and voice when they’re ready. For those using the camera, Snapchat’s usual face lenses will be available for members to use as they chat with friends and family members.
In addition to group video chat, Snapchat revealed that stories will be getting the ability to add in @ mentions in the new update. This way, users can tag friends in any snap they add to their story and then viewers looking at the story will be able to swipe up to watch the tagged friend’s public story and see an option to add them as a friend. Users will get notified in chat when someone tags them in a story.
The new features will begin rolling out to all Snapchat users worldwide over the next few weeks.