Snapchat's new Chat 2.0 lets you call friends and send sloth stickers

Once a Facebook acquisition target, now a full-fledged rival

Is Snapchat your primary means of playing catch-up with your friends? If so, it's about to get a whole lot easier, thanks to the ephemeral photo-sharing app's revamped chat system.

Snapchat's Chat 2.0 update - available now for Android and iPhone - adds multiple ways to reach out to your buddies beyond the app's usual "see-it-before-it-disappears" snapshots.

One such addition is a collection of in-chat stickers, which takes a note from Facebook Messenger and Line and lets you send tiny images that best express your mood, from tiny pizza slices to a food-obsessed cartoon sloth.

Should you prefer a more personal means of communicating, the face-to-face video chat system on Snapchat has been retooled to work with the single push of a button - no more waiting for your friend to be in the same chat to start pestering them!

Voice chat has been added to make the app an internet-enabled replacement for phone service. Should a recipient somehow be too busy for Snapchat, users can leave ten-second Video Notes or voicemails that can be checked later.

These features come as a pleasant not-so-surprise, as the additions were leaked two months back, spoiling the stickers and video memo features before Snapchat could officially announce them.

While not part of the new Chat interface, Snapchat's update also includes an auto-advance feature for Stories - meaning you can browse through your friends' updates in a single sitting, eliminating the tedium of catching up on everyone's antics one-by-one.

In essence, Chat 2.0 is Snapchat's attempt to carve out a larger niche - concentrating on more than just blink-and-you'll-miss-it pictures, but taking on the likes of chat giants like WhatsApp, Line, and Facebook Messenger on their own turf.

Honestly, we were already sold by the sloth stickers, but we guess the ability to call and leave messages for your close ones is a plus, too.

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