The photo-messaging Snapchat app has been updated with two very useful features that allow users to do more than just share images and videos. Snapchat will now offer support for text messaging and video chatting, allowing users to engage in deeper conversations.

“Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence,” the company wrote on its blog. “There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting. We could not be more thrilled to announce Chat.”

In order to start chatting, users will have to swipe a friend’s name in their Snapchat inbox. All messages will be automatically deleted when a user leaves the chat screen, assuming neither party wants to save a screenshot of certain parts of it, a feature that could be useful for saving addresses, to-do lists and other things that come up during messaging sessions.

Users can also chat face-to-face in Snapchat by pressing and holding to share live video, although they won’t be able to save any videos. The video chat feature only works when both users are inside the app — a blue bubble will show users when their friends are in the chat, or “Here,” hinting that video chats are now available.

The Snapchat application is available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play Store.

The following video shows how Snapchat messaging and video chatting features work.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.