SNAPCHAT IS TAKING ON WHATSAPP with an update that will offer users video calls and instant messaging.
Although the update doesn't seem to have gone live in app stores yet, it could sway users to use the quick no-fuss feature instead of the Whatsapp service.
"Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence. There's nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you're chatting," the firm said in a blog post.
Collectively named "chat", the new features will allow users to swipe the name of a friend from their contacts to start a text conversation. When a user leaves a chat screen, messages viewed by both them and their friend will be cleared in the same fashion as photos, but users can save anything they'd like to keep by tap or screenshot.
"We let you know when a friend is Here in your Chat so that you can give each other your full attention. And if you're both Here, simply press and hold to share live video - and Chat face-to-face," Snapchat added.
The updates will arrive for iOS and Android devices soon, Snapchat said.
However, the update could spur more spam campaigns, as seen earlier this year, when Snapchat was hit with an attack that resulted in users unintentionally sending images of fruit smoothies to all of their friends.
Though that doesn't sound like the most terrifying of threats, the image of an admittedly refreshing looking fruit drink was being sent from hacked user accounts with the text, "Go to Snapfroot.com", a URL that directed people to Allrecipes.com, a website that could have contained a variety of hidden malware or spyware. µ