Snapchat is making speed dial cool again with Bitmojis that look like your favorite friends. Officially launched March 14 in both iOS and Android updates, the new feature allows users to add their most frequently chatted friends to their home screen or the “Today” screen on iOS.
The new shortcut comes after Android users first noticed the feature last week, now available outside beta testing for both Android and iOS users. The feature makes it possible to start up a chat without having to open up Snapchat and dig through the interface to find a friend. The feature emerges from the company’s acquisition of Bitmoji last year that led to the possibility of creating sticker avatars in your own likeness.
For Android, the update allows users to put their friends right on the home screen. After updating Snapchat, users just need to tap and hold in a free space on that screen. Selecting “widgets” from the options will now include Snapchat among the options. Android users can add up to four “speedchat” friends this way — and rearrange them to personal taste.
On iOS, the feature adds friends to the “Today” screen, the shortcuts and calendar reminders accessible by swiping to the right from the home screen. Once on that screen, users can scroll down and tap “edit,” then add the Snapchat widget and choose “Snapchat best friends.” That iOS home screen can also be reorganized by tapping and holding the three lines to the right of existing widgets, then dragging them into the desired order.
Snap Inc. went public earlier this month after rebranding itself in the fall as a camera company. The popular chat app is also inspiring some of the competition, with variations of the platform’s Stories (or a sort of status update that disappears like Snapchat messages) re-imagined inside Facebook and Instagram.
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