Snapchat is the photo and video app that lets you send goofy pictures and videos to your friends. Within a few seconds, they self destruct.
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We’re sure you’ve seen your friends make unflattering faces at their phone or suddenly burst into laughter after receiving what you thought was a text message. What they’re really giggling about is a Snapchat picture message, the latest craze in photo sharing.
Here’s how it works: You take a picture, set a timer on it, write a caption if you wish and send it to one of your friends (Snapchat can search your contacts or Facebook friends to pull up a list). After your friend sees it, the image is gone forever (hypothetically).
When 22-year-old Evan Spiegel stood in front of his product-design class at Stanford in 2011 and pitched his app idea, he was met with fierce criticism. Everyone told him no one would use it, and if they did, it would be for sexting.
He launched Snapchat anyway.
Since September 2011, users have grown exponentially. The app is used more than 300 million times a day by millions of people. To give you a better idea of what that means, on this past Thanksgiving, the app’s users sent 1,000 photos every second.
Snapchat’s update in December brought with it the capability to shoot videos as well as photos. Users take a short clip of themselves (ten seconds or less) and send it to their friends as a GIF, the clip repeating itself until the timer is through.
Naturally the app’s popularity and design has also led to a slew of controversy involving sexting. To prevent negative consequences, Snapchat incorporated a couple safety features. First off, the picture or video has a maximum life of one to ten seconds, so they can only be viewed for a limited time. The second preventative feature is the fact that a finger must touch the screen while viewing, so unless you have extremely nimble fingers, taking a screenshot is nearly impossible. If you do successfully capture the screen, the app notifies the sender that you pulled a fast one.
On the other hand, because of the safety features, some argue that users send risqué photos more frequently.
While Snapchat is a well executed app that is entertaining and the first of its kind, we ask you, is this app genius or dangerous? Let us know on Twitter.
For more ratings on this app's security, battery consumption and data usage, check out Verizon's Android App Reviews.
Reviewed: Dec 21, 2012 | Yelena GalstyanAlso featured on: A Look Back at the 10 Best iPhone Apps of 2013, Also featured on: Snapchat and Dropbox Apologize, Study Finds Android Apps Are Developed Fastest + Other App News, Also featured on: Smartphones Can Track Stats with the Fitbit App, Wechat Competitor Pays For Users + Other App News, Also featured on: Vine Launches Vanity URLs, Snapchat Adds Replays + Other App News You Need to Know, Also featured on: Windows Users Get Instagram, Apple Store for iPad Launches + Other App News You Need to Know, Also featured on: Snapchat Unveils ‘Stories,’ and Other App News You Need To Know, Also featured on: 5 Controversial Apps