Snapchat has been updated, with new features that include the use of emojis to tell users who they message most.
The update removes the “best friends” list — which showed who you had sent the most messages to — and replaces it with a host of emojis that act as code for the same information.
If a gold heart is next to a person’s name, for instance, it means that they are the person you speak with most. (A full list of what each smiley face means can be found here.)
The app now also has a “needs love” feature, which highlights those friends that aren’t been spoken to. Under the “Recents” list, there is a separate set of people who used to be snapped with a lot but you now don’t talk to as much.
The app now also has a special low-light camera mode, indicated by a small moon at the top left hand corner of the camera screen. The update fixes Snapchat’s previous terrible performance in the dark, which made it very bad at taking pictures in low-light places like clubs or concerts.
To replace the best friend list, there are six main emojis — all of which will appear just after people’s names. They are gold hearts for best friends, who you snap to most and vice-versa; a grimace for a person who has the same best friend as you; a smile for someone who is a best friend but not the top one; sunglasses for someone with whom you have mutual friends; smirks for people who have you as a best friend but you don’t have as one; and fire emojis for when you go on a run of snaps on consecutive days.
Some have suggested that the update is intended to make Snapchat more like a game, encouraging users to snap more so that they can get fire emojis and other rewards for using it. But it also gives a more private way of knowing who you snap with most — the best friends feature was turned off in January amid complaints that it was unwillingly exposing people’s best friends and getting cheating men in trouble.
Snapchat announced the update in the "Discover" section of its app, rather than a blog post or a press release.