Snapchat has just released version 7.0 of its social photo app on the iPhone, and with it, comes big, bright, and exciting new features – namely, a new chat function.

Traditionally, Snapchat has allowed you to take photos, or ‘Snaps’, with your device to send to your friends but with the drawback/benefit of them only being able to view them for between one and ten seconds. The chat function follows a similar proviso and removes the conversation if a user leaves the chat window. The function itself is easy to use, but only when you get used to it, which can take awhile.

So why don’t we make it a little easier? Read on for a comprehensive guide to the new chat function in Snapchat.

1. Starting a chat

To start a chat, go to your recently received snaps then slide left to right over one your contacts. You’ll see a small “chat box” icon appear as you swipe and the view will switch over to a standard looking chat box.

start-a-chat

2. Chat functionality

Just like other messaging apps, you can start typing out a message and press send. Unlike other chat apps though, the messages will disappear if either of you leave the chat window. But there is a way to save certain lines if you need to reference them. To do so, just tap on them so they become highlighted and the font changes.

If the person you’re chatting to saves a section then it will also remain for you in your chat window. To remove the saved sections, tap on them again and return to your received snaps list.

iOS 7 GUI PSD (iPhone 5)

3. Sending a snap within Chat

If you also want to pepper your conversations with a few snaps, that’s easily done too. Tap the yellow button besidethe next entry box to access camera mode. Unlike the default camera mode, you can also send images from your camera roll by tapping the box in the bottom right.

iOS 7 GUI PSD (iPhone 5)

4. Video chats

If the recipient joins you in a chat after you’ve sent your message, the yellow camera icon turns blue, giving you the option for video chat. Tap and hold the blue button and a small circle will appear on screen, showing what the other person can see.

Initially this will show the front-camera view of your device so the recipient will see your face, but in an ingenious move, Snapchat have enabled users to switch to the front-facing camera quickly and easily so your contact can see what you can. To do this, slide the circle up to the top-half of the screen with your finger and the view will switch.

If your friend decides to join the video call, then what they’re showing will fill up the screen.

video-online

To stop showing your video, simply let go of the screen.

5. Finishing your chat

Once the chat is over, tap the back arrow to return to your list of snaps. You’ll see the chat entry at the top but if you slide to view it, then you’ll see a blank chat history.

Snapchat’s new chat function stays true to the app’s history, allowing messages to remain fleeting and should please its users that want more room to play around with text within the app.

App Store Download button