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Snapchat is defined as a photo messaging phone application that prides itself on being a time-limited photo sharing application.

Developed and launched in 2011 by two Stanford students at the time, Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, the idea behind Snapchat was a simple notion, both of them felt that smiley faces and emoticons are not enough to transmit certain emotions needed to be conveyed at a time of sending an IM or a text message so they wanted to create an application that allows anyone to capture their exact face as they text something and their fear of that photo being up on servers for the whole world to see for the rest of eternity caused them to develop it in a way where it is only shared for a certain time. The “snaps” can only be visible for 1 to 10 seconds, afterwards they disappear from the recipients phone and permanently deleted from all servers.

What is Snapchat Features’ List?

The idea is quite simple, basically pressing a button pushes the phone’s camera to snap either a photo or a video (10 seconds long), it also allows adding graphics and text to the photo or video and saving it before it being sent to the chosen recipient where it will appear for anytime between 1 to 10 seconds. Considered the ultimate “selfie” and “sexting” application, the timeframe presented by Snapchat, sadly allows users more freedom in sending more explicit otherwise forbidden photos knowing they are only seen for a fraction of a minute. With 80% of users being in the United States and a main demographic of 13 to 23 years of age, Snapchat was one of the largest expanding mobile applications in the world in 2012 and 2013.

What is Snapchat ’s list of safety issues?

In a disclaimer on Snapchat’s website, the company states that if a certain file is not viewed by the recipient, it remains on snapchat’s servers for 30 days before being deleted for good. Forbes released a feature claiming that a forensic security firm managed to retrieve tens of photos supposedly deleted from the Snapchat servers, therefore raising concern over the security of things sent over Snapchat. The Electronic Privacy Information Center consequently filed a complaint against Snapchat with the Federal Trade Commission, stating that Snapchat deceived its customers by leading them to believe that pictures are destroyed within seconds of viewing. This came on the heels of news spreading of applications available on most smart phones allowing a recipient of a “Snap” to actually take a screenshot of anything, therefore keeping the photo for good. The bigger issue facing Snapchat is the fact that it helps spread the trend of sexting , a dangerous trend where there is an exchange of explicit images that often contain some degree of nudity or suggestive poses. Snapchat released an abuse guide that insists the company is not encouraging sexting or being “sexting-friendly”

If you fear your child is using Snapchat in the wrong way we encourage you to read our features on Teens and Sexting, Snapchat Bullying Tactics, and how can you use Snapchat safely?.

We encourage everyone to consider the fact that social media is designed to make life easier and connecting with friends much easier and fun but it must never be used as a way to terrorize, extort or bully others.

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