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Do You Snap?

A few months ago, one of my friends mentioned an app to me, but instead of downloading it or even checking it out, I simply put it on the list of things I’d get to eventually.

This is the logo for the app on iOS and Android. Beware that searching Google images for “snapchat” might bring up some rather scandalous images.

The concept is pretty simple, as users send private messages to each other that can only be viewed for a limited amount of time before being deleted permanently, instead of sending something through a text or email. If the recipient tries to save the message (screen shot), you are notified by the app.

Within seconds of reading the app description and how it works, I knew it was targeted at a specific audience, and that most users probably send messages that they’d be hesitant to send via standard messaging routes.

I’m sure that many innocent messages are sent through Snapchat, but I imagine that a decent amount of dirty or inappropriate messages are also sent with this app. The time limit and notification of someone trying to save your picture are definitely some perks if you happen to send messages of a more sensitive nature that you don’t really want shared with the rest of the world, as the intended recipient can see whatever you’ve sent, but then not be able to share it and show it to the rest of the world.

My biggest concern with Snapchat is that there is no way to monitor who can use the app, which could mean that kids are being exposed to things or sending inappropriate content.

Out of curiosity, I downloaded the app, and the only information required to set up an account are your email address and phone number. No name or age verification necessary.

Once you’ve setup the account, you can have the app scan your phonebook or contacts to check for friends on the app, or send invites to friends who aren’t user of it yet. I haven’t sent any messages or even added any friends on there yet, mainly because it seems like something that could only end up causing me more headaches and give me yet one more thing to keep up with on my phone.

I’m curious to find out if you’ve used this app before, and what your thoughts are about the experience. Also, if you use it and think that my hypothesis regarding this app being used for nefarious purposes is way off base, let me know.


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