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snapchat

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Snapchat releases second-gen Spectacles with new features and a higher price tag

The original Snapchar Spectacles were something of a fad when you could only get them from a handful of vending machines. However, the hype died down when they became generally available. Snap ended up losing money on unsold hardware, but it hasn't given up on Spectacles. The second-gen specs are now available. They cost a bit more, but they include several new features.

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Snapchat introduces 'Snappables' AR selfie games

Snapchat will soon be gaining a set of augmented reality games called Snappables, Snap announced today. Snappables, which should roll out to Snapchatters later this week, are a new form of interactive Lenses through which users can play together (or by themselves) using AR. Some games can be controlled via more traditional methods like touch, but others can be played using motion and even facial expressions.

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Snapchat Stories feed back to chronological order for some users

Back in November, Snapchat rolled out an update that, in part, sorted users' Stories feeds algorithmically, which ostensibly placed a greater emphasis on the content people actually cared to see. According to TechCrunch, though, that change has been reversed for a lot of users, with feeds appearing in reverse chronological order again.

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InBrief
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Snapchat adds group video chats with up to 16 participants

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Snap introduces Explore to make it easier to find content on its Snap Map

Snapchat's Snap Map, the heatmap overview of Snaps shared around the world, was introduced last summer, letting users get a better sense of where their friends were sharing from. However, unless you zoomed out and looked around for Snaps and Stories outside your area, you would likely miss out on content that hadn't been shared nearby. Today, Snap has introduced a feature called 'Explore' that will bring more prominence to content on the Snap Map, regardless of where it's shared from.

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Snap Inc. is doubling down on its losses, looks to ship two new versions of Spectacles in 2018 and 2019

Oh, Snap. Read that in a voice filled with pity and bewilderment to get the tone here, because the company behind Snapchat is apparently pushing more of its chips into the financial black hole that is its Spectacles. Yes, Snap Inc. is on tilt and has plans for not one, but two new pairs of its eyewear despite lukewarm interest for the first version of the product.

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Instagram might be working on voice and video calls

Instagram is trying to become the place you connect with everyone, regardless of the medium you want. You can share images and videos with your followers, post ephemeral stories or keep them in your profile, direct message people for private chats, and go live to share your current activity or whereabouts with friends. But that doesn't seem to be enough as the app might be working on voice and video calls as well.

The news was first spotted by TechCrunch who got tipped about the Instagram APK file containing multiple icons for calls and video calls. I verified it on my end by grabbing the latest Instagram alpha v36 file and digging through it to find many icons for calls in the same vein as Instagram's icon design, plus several layouts that mention calls and video calls.

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[Update: Create your own lenses from within the app] Snapchat's Lens Studio will let anyone make and publish Augmented Reality 'Lenses'

Snapchat is an inexplicably popular service, but you know what it's missing? There just aren't enough augmented reality filters (known as Lenses) for your snaps, right? True or not, Snap has announced a new tool called Lens Studio that will let anyone create augmented reality objects and publish them for other Snapchat users.

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Snapchat gets GIF stickers and some changes to app redesign

The company behind Snapchat is rolling out a new feature to its app that allows users to paste animated GIFs onto their Snaps and stories. The new functionality is the result of a partnership with Giphy, and provides users with access to Giphy's enormous GIF database from right within the Snapchat app.

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Weekend poll: How do you feel about the changes to Snapchat?

Snapchat may not have the widest audience compared to social juggernauts like Facebook, but there's a core of users that have stuck by the service even as competitors like Instagram integrated similar features. Of course, we've been more than a bit critical of Snapchat and its terrible Android performance over the years—late last year the company promised to (finally) make an effort on the platform. But over the last week, Snapchat has been rolling out a controversial new redesign. In fact, the reception has been so poor that over 1.2 million people (at the time of writing) have signed a petition to revert the change.

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