While Snapchat is known for letting users send disappearing chats and photos, called snaps, video calling has become a popular feature of the app, according to the company. Snapchat said its app hosts more than 100 million video calls each month with up to 15 participants each. Now, it hopes that service will become easier and more pleasant to use when people join those calls from a desktop.
Like with the app, the web version of Snapchat opens directly to the camera to encourage users to send photos to friends. In a sidebar, users will see a list of their recent friend conversations, where they can open snaps or start a chat. The web version won’t include all the features of the mobile app, such as the “Snap Map” where users can track their friends or the discover section — at least to start, according to the company.
“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,” a spokesperson for Snap, the app’s parent company, said in a statement.
To protect users’ safety and privacy, Snapchat for web prohibits users from taking screenshots of chats or snaps (the app alerts users if someone screenshots their chat or photo). The company also created a “privacy screen” to hide the Snapchat window if users click away.