Snapchat redesign adds colorful text, while all users can mute specific chats

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Chris DeGraw/Digital Trends

Snapchat’s Stories format, as well as several other features like augmented reality masks, have been widely imitated. But this time Snapchat could be the one doing the imitating. Snapchat recently confirmed that, for users already using the big redesign in the U.K., Australia, and Canada, new type designs are beginning to roll out. The update comes on the heels of Instagram’s Type Mode that allows users to add text photo-free to Stories.

When typing on a Snap, the update allows users to choose from the classic option, big text or a glow or rainbow effect, bringing more options into the way the text looks over that image. The update expands options inside the existing type tool.

Unlike Instagram’s version, there doesn’t appear to be a way to type without a photo. Instagram’s Type Mode only launched last week — though tests of the feature leaked prior to that — so Snap Inc. and Instagram could have been working on similar features simultaneously with only a few days between the launches.

Snapchat confirmed to TechCrunch that the new type options are rolling out, but only to users that already have access to the big redesign. Announced in 2017, the design overhaul attempts to make the app easier to understand for newbies as Snapchat tries to expand its user base. The update’s global rollout has been delayed, however, with the changes only available in Australia, Canada, and the U.K.

Another recent update is accessible to users that haven’t seen Snapchat’s new look yet — a Do Not Disturb mode for temporarily muting conversations. The feature rolled out a few weeks ago, but without any formal announcement and only gesture controls to access the tool, the feature has gone largely unnoticed. Users need to tap and hold on a friend or a group and tap settings to turn the mode on.

Snapchat says that the person on the other end of the Do Not Disturb won’t receive a notification that they have been silenced. Users can still go in and participate in the conversation, see Snaps and send them — they just won’t receive a notification for every new message.