Snapchat quietly dropped an update last night that makes its chat feature a lot more interesting. Now, when viewing a snap in someone’s story, you can swipe upward to send that user a direct chat message. The original poster receives a notification and can hop into a private message thread tied directly to the original snap.
The update makes it easier to start a conversation with another user based off something they snap to their story, whereas before users weren't quite sure which snap any incoming message may be replying to — think of it like quoting someone's public tweet in a direct message on Twitter. Snapchat’s chat feature has been around for a while, but being tied directly to a user's story creates an better avenue for discussion within the app.
Users can also now use Snapchat lenses — the interative animations you can layer over your selfies — with the rear-facing camera. That opens up the possibility of adding animations to any element of a scene instead of simply on a portrait of yourself.