30 December 2013
Based on an idea from a couple of Stanford university students, Snapchat was launched from a suburban living room in September 2011. Since then it's grown to be one of the most popular of the latest generation of messaging applications. It allows users to capture photos and videos, add text and drawings to create what's called a "snap", and send them to selected recipients. What makes Snapchat different is that users can time-limit how long the snaps can be viewed for. Currently this is between one and ten seconds, after which the snap is deleted from the servers and can no longer be seen on the recipient's device. This means that if they're seeking images for their custom phone cases UK users will need to look elsewhere.
How Do I Use Snapchat?
The Snapchat app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Once it's installed you'll see a large circular button at the bottom of the screen. Press this to take a still image or hold it to take a short video of up to ten seconds. You can then add text before accessing your contacts list to decide who you want to send it to. You're informed by text message when your snap has been viewed. If you receive a snap from another user you have to maintain contact with the phone's touchscreen in order to view it. This makes it difficult to take a screenshot and keep the image. However, the app does allow screenshots but it notifies the sender with a message that one has been taken. If the recipient doesn't view a file straight away it's kept on Snapchat's servers for 30 days before being deleted. An update this year allows the creation of Snapchat Stories — chains of related content that can be viewed any number of times over a 24-hour period.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The app's main demographic is young people. The founders claim it removes the need to create and carefully manage an online identity and allows people to be more spontaneous. The nature of Snapchat lends itself to the current trend for selfies, but also to more inappropriate content. Snapchat's popularity is undeniable. It's reckoned to have some 30 million active users each month and around half of those use it every day. This seems likely to make it an attractive takeover target for one of the major social network players at some point. The idea of throw-away images might have seemed odd at one time. But as more and more aspects of our lives have started to appear online, it's easy to see how Snapchat appeals to a generation that has grown up with social networks. Sending a quick snap that disappears once it's been viewed means there are no worries about how your profile might be viewed in future.
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Kimberley Rogers on Monday, December 30, 2013 · Leave a Comment
Social Media Trends