March 12, 2018
@Snapchat is copying @Instagram’s #HandsFree mode in a secret test. #productupdates Click To Tweet
Snapchat is breaking barriers hands-free (well, not literally). According to Mashable, the social app is secretly testing a hands-free mode for the latest Snapchat beta app (version 10.27.0.18). The mode allows users to record a maximum of 60 seconds of video hands-free.
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The mode is activated by pressing the record button and swiping downward. The hands-free mode lasts up to one minute.
Photo Courtesy of Mashable
The hands-free mode is not included in Snapchat’s app notes for beta users. However, when a user starts to record a video, the prompt “Drag down to go hands-free” appears above the record button.
Although an uncharacteristic feature of Snapchat, an app typically associated with a short, one-time-then-gone mentality across its features, hands-free is a convenience that users have wanted for a while. This functionality simply makes sense as the next progressive step for Snapchat, especially since big-time competitor Instagram Stories already offers such a capability.
Full-Body AR Camera
On top of the secret hands-free test, Snapchat also snuck in an update to its World Lens feature on the official version of the app (10.26.1.0). Specifically, a full-body AR camera that allows users to virtually attach Snapchat animations to real-life objects, such as a human body. Mashable demonstrated the feature using a storm cloud to follow a moving person.
This latest update indicates Snapchat’s continued dedication to augmented reality as its niche.
Little tweaks and improvements such as these may help users forgive Snapchat for its redesigned interface. Users have been somewhat miffed at the app for the new changes, but Snapchat continues to carry on. It is also unlikely that the updated interface will negatively affect Snapchat’s overall appeal to younger users, as the app continues to win in its popularity across younger demographics.