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(Pocket-lint) - Snapchat is bringing three key features - chatting and video calling - to the desktop through a web app. This is the first time Snapchat's core service has been made available on non-mobile devices.

What is Snapchat for Web?

With Snapchat for Web, you can log in with your Snapchat account and send messages to your friends or call them right from your desktop. The new web experience seems to look and work a lot like the mobile one - only with added space for you to chat and call in the same window on a desktop computer. Snap said support for AR Lenses are even coming to the web version soon.

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The company seemed to suggest that, with people using computers more frequently during the pandemic, such as college students who are now learning and working remotely, it finally made sense to bring more of Snapchat's functionality to the web. The service always had a website, but it was extremely limited in that it directed you to Snapchat's mobile apps and would only let you manage settings and data. 

Snapchat for Web lets you:

  • Start a call or pick up where chats left off on mobile.
  • Use messaging features like Chat Reactions and Chat Reply
  • Coming soon: Use AR Lenses from the desktop

How does Snapchat for Web work?

Requirements

Snapchat for Web is only compatible with Google's Chrome browser (and not Apple's Safari).

Go to Snapchat for Web

To access the web version of Snapchat, simply open your laptop or turn on your desktop and go to web.snapchat.com in Chrome. When the page loads, you will be directed to log in to your Snapchat account.

Chat and call

Once signed in, the Snapchat for Web interface will appear, complete with your contacts on the left, chat view in the middle, and video and audio call pane on the right. The user interface is pretty intuitive; click on a contact to start a chat with them. You will see buttons to video call or phone them. You'll also see the chat screen and the ability to react to chats and reply to chats all from your laptop or desktop. Easy.

Pick up where you left off

Snap said your calls, video calls, and chats are synced up across its mobile apps and web app, so you should be able to pick up where you left off if you go from mobile to desktop or vice versa. 

Can anyone try Snapchat for Web?

At launch, the web version will be available exclusively to Snapchat Plus subscribers. It's the first major paywalled feature launch since Snapchat announced its paid offering in June. For a $3.99 monthly cost, subscribers can get access to a few exclusive features, such as Snapchat for Web, as well as getting experimental additions well before they come to the full swathe of users.

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Where is Snapchat for Web available?

Snapchat Plus subscribers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will get the feature first.

Want to know more?

Check out Pocket-lint's in-depth guide on Snapchat for more about the mobile app, including how it works and the top tips and tricks.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.