Snapchat takes leaf from Facebook with group video, mentions

Snapchat was the hot new app all the kids were using -- and all the tech giants were copying -- but the tables seem to be turning for the social network.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

Where have we seen this before?


Snapchat is all set to introduce group video calling and story mentions, a feature it tested last month, parent company Snap announced Tuesday.

Up to 16 people can now take part in group video chats on the app, with up to 32 people joining in voice calls. To mention them in a Snapchat story, just type out their username starting with the "@..." and they'll be notified.

If those features seem familiar, you only need look to Snapchat's biggest rival to work out where you've seen them before. Facebook introduced group video calling on Messenger back in 2016, and you've long been able to tag other users in stories on Facebook-owned Instagram.

Following Snapchat's stratospheric growth in popularity and a reported unsuccessful buyout bid from Facebook, it became commonplace for Mark Zuckerberg's social networking giant to roll out Snapchat-esque features, like custom filters and masks and disappearing "stories," to its own products including Messenger and Instagram. But now Snapchat appears to have hit a rough patch.

Not only does it seem to be borrowing features from its more well-established rival, but just last week it announced its second round of layoffs in a month. This followed a $1.3 billion tumble in its market value after Kardashian selfie queen Kylie Jenner tweeted that she doen't use the app anymore.

But there's still hope for the social network. As well as the new features, which will start appearing on Wednesday, the company may be releasing not one but two new versions of Snapchat Spectacles. So that's something to look forward to, we suppose.

It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet?

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.