Technology

Snapchat may be adding audio messages and video calling, experts say

Snapchat may be preparing to launch new audio messaging and Skype-like features, according to a pair of software developers who regularly examine the popular app’s programming code.

The developers, who produce software to add additional features to Snapchat on specially unlocked smartphones, recently spotted references in the official Snapchat code to audio notes and the ability to answer incoming video and audio calls. Snapchat has yet to announce such features and declined to comment.

The Times expected adding audio features to be a priority for Venice-based Snapchat this year, as it tries to give users more reasons to open its app.

Snapchat enables sharing of videos, photos and text. Two users who are already communicating by text in the app also may chat by video. But a growing list of apps -- including Dubsmash, Periscope and Unmute -- are peddling new ways for people to stay in touch through digital media. For Snapchat to fend them off, it has to find ways to fill in gaps.

Snapchat’s business is reliant mostly on ad sales, which stands to grow more lucrative as users interact with the app more.

The developers noted their findings on an online forum Friday that news website 9to5 Google first reported. One of them confirmed the information by email, adding that Snapchat also is testing a new video editing tool that reverses playback.

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