Update: 2:30 p.m.: In addition to rolling out group video chat and Mentions, Snapchat is also re-enabling the Giphy library. The app originally suspended GIF stickers last month at the same time as Instagram, in response to a racially insensitive sticker.
This piece was originally published at 9 a.m. on April 3, 2018.
In coming weeks, you'll be able to connect with up to 16 friends in a single video chat or 32 friends in a group voice call. That is, if you know 16 — or 32 — friends who can stand to be on the same call at once.
While Snapchat has had one-to-one voice and video chat à la FaceTime since spring 2016, this is the first time you'll be able to get the whole crew on one call. Consider this prep for your daytime video conferencing calls at the office — with up to 16 people on one call friends are bound to jockey for speaking time. With wedding season coming up, this function could prove especially useful. Fortunately, you can ease the tension by putting on one of the Snapchat's face lenses during a group call.
To start a group call, open your Messages by swiping from left to right across the main camera screen. Tap an existing group chat, or start a new one by pressing the icon in the upper right hand corner. Then, tap the video or phone icon to invite friends, who will receive a notification; their names will light up if and when they join.
Snapchat also announced another new feature today that feels long overdue: Mentions. That's right, when the feature rolls out in coming weeks you'll finally be able to tag the friends who make guest appearances in your Stories. (Mentions is something Instagram Stories has been doing since launch, but hey, better late than never.) To tag a friend, just type @ and their username. Anyone watching your story can swipe up to watch the tagged friend's public Story (if there is one), or add that person as a friend. Friends who are tagged will receive a notification.