Snapchat has changed — here’s what you need to know

If you’re hearing bells and alarms and clanging right now, that’s because something major is happening. You no longer have to hold down your thumb on the screen to view Snapchats, I repeat, you no longer have to hold down your thumb on the screen to view Snapchats. Phew, okay, let’s turn off the sirens so I can explain.

Yesterday, Snapchat rolled out some big updates, the biggest being their new “tap to view” feature. This means that when your friends send you some snaps, you just have to tap through them, rather than sweating it out to keep your fingers pressed and the message going.

My first thought was, whoa, this is gonna make screenshotting those embarrassing selfies so much easier. But your second thought is probably, ugh, does this mean I can’t skip through my friends stories anymore? If any of my friends are reading this, I love watching your 100 second stories and would never in a million years think to skip–okay let’s be real. No, it doesn’t mean that. You can still tap to move things along.

There are some other new features as well, such as “Add Nearby,” which lets you add friends based on who’s around you at the time, and some changes to Snapcodes. You can now take animated selfies by tapping the ghost icon at the top of the camera. It’ll take five pictures one after another, creating a GIF-like image of your duckface. Important and necessary.

This update is a lot of fun, but it does seem to foreshadow Snapchat’s future. The app is evolving. The original appeal was that one wrong move, and the picture was gone forever. You could send whatever you wanted and it would disappear into cyberspace. But that’s not really why people use it anymore. More and more, the app is seeming like a new platform for staying intimately in touch with friends and celebrities rather than a game of who can send the ugliest selfie — although we should never stop doing that.

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