Limited Viewing Time
SnapChat is an app for smartphones, such as Android and iOS devices. It enables users to send pictures and text to other users. The service also allows a user to set a time limit of one to ten seconds for the photo to expire. Users can thus send embarrassing or silly photos with a time limit, without the fear that the picture will find its way into other sites and continue to stay in the media.
Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, both Stanford students, created SnapChat. They felt that users should have something more to convey their emotions, instead of merely emoticons. They thought it would be a good idea to send a quick snap showing a specific emotion. But they did not want this emotion or picture to end up in the social media, where everyone else could see it. Hence, the concept of a limited time-sharing of a photograph arose.
How to Send
You have to first download the app from the Google Play or the App Store (for Android and iOS devices respectively) and complete the registration process with a password. The app is able to access the contacts on your phone and the list is loaded in the application. You can also add other contact names and numbers to this list. After logging in to the app, you can take a picture and then send it to the contact or contacts you want, by setting the timer for anywhere between one and ten seconds. After you send the message, the receiver will have only the fixed time for viewing the message, as it destroys itself automatically after the set period.
Access to Phone
The app works very effectively only in case everyone has access to their phone all the time. If you are in class or some other place where you cannot access the phone, the message will be destroyed within the set time. Hence, everyone will not be able to view or respond to a message all the time.
Worries and Concerns – The Downside
There are many parents who monitor what their children send through their smartphones. This app provides children with a way to avoid such scrutiny, as the evidence or the message is no longer present on their phones and cannot be seen later on. Even if parents have the facility for viewing the content of their children’s smartphones online from remote, they will not be able to view messages, as they will get deleted. This might be a cause for concern or worry for many parents.
Another problem is that even if the message appears only for a few seconds, the receiver can still take a screen shot of the picture and post it elsewhere. However, SnapChat has addressed this concern by sending a notification to the sender if such a shot is taken. This does not, however, prevent it from being taken or shared. The receiver can also circumvent this notification, by taking the picture with another camera or another phone. In this case, the sender will never know that the picture is still alive on another device. Yet another concern is that teenagers might use SnapChat for ‘sexting’ because they feel that they are safe in sending such pictures.
SnapChat can be a fun application when it is used correctly. However, there should be basic ground rules that are followed by the users. SnapChat is a fun app for mobile conversations. You can take a picture or a video and even add a caption before sending it to your friend. They can view it, laugh over it and then it disappears.