San Francisco • Snapchat is adding a chat feature to its ephemeral messaging service.
Despite its name, the Snapchat app has never offered real-time conversation until now. Previously, users were only able to send each other photos and videos that self-destruct a few seconds after they are viewed.
The Los Angeles startup said Thursday that Snapchat users will be able to chat by swiping right on a friend's name. When users leave the chat screen, messages will be automatically deleted. In keeping with Snapchat's tradition, users can take screenshots of the chat if they want to preserve it.