Added: Eugenie Lennox - Date: 27.06.2021 15:23 - Views: 25824 - Clicks: 6050
W hat is Snapchat? It's the social app that's currently seeing more than m photos shared every day. It's the service that may be pulling millions of teenagers away from that social network, but which is also giving parents headaches over sexting and cyberbullying. It's making VC firms giddy with excitement, but is being sued by one of its own co-founders.
Snapchat is one of the hottest mobile apps in the world, but also one of the most controversial. Here's a point primer on its past, present and future. Snapchat's co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy started working together at Stanford University, initially on a website for students called Future Freshman, among other projects. We must have attempted nearly 34 projects," Spiegel told the Palisadian Post in August.
The one that clicked was an iPhone app called Picaboo, which launched in late summer , after a friend grumbled about regretting sending a photo from his smartphone. Picaboo aimed to solve that problem with self-destructing snaps, Mission Impossible style. When sending a photo to a contact, the sender could decide how many seconds it would be viewable for before self-deleting.
Even then, people were drawing conclusions about what Picaboo would be used for: "Now we're not suggesting you use it for sending NSFW not safe for work photos," suggested tech blog Shiny Shiny in September BUT if you just have to get your kit off and take pictures, this is probably the safest way to do it. Picaboo, subsequently rebranded as Snapchat, expanded to Android , and added video, as well as the ability to scribble messages on photos before sending them. By , it was ready to become a craze.
So a lot of people just liked it because the interface was so simple. It sent the photos so quickly," Spiegel told Associated Press this month. Throughout its history, Snapchat's founders have preferred not to provide regular updates on how many people are using the app, opting instead for the metric of how many photos are being shared a day. That figure grew from 20m in October to 60m in February , before rocketing to m in April, m in June, and m in September.
Actual users? The most quoted figure has been 5m daily active users, but that's from the spring of so it's quite likely higher now. In August, analytics firm Onavo claimed that Snapchat was being used by But, globally, another relevant stat is the fact that since September, Snapchat has been matching Facebook for the of photos shared a day — m.
But money has been flowing into the company from another source: venture capital firms. That got me curious". In personal blog posts, some of these investors have rhapsodised about Snapchat. Seldom have we seen a consumer application with this type of user momentum and excitement.
Think Twitter Not everyone is so excited by the spiralling valuation of a company that has yet to prove it can make money. Snapchat is Intrinsically Worthless blog post for an opposing point of view:. A service that voluntarily throws away its own data in the golden age of data hoarding? A service devoid of the nature of competition that is the driving force behind every other profitable company in the world?
A service that is intrinsically worthless? Well, Reggie Brown says he's a co-founder, although the outcome of his lawsuit against Snapchat will rest upon how important a role he's deemed to have played in the early days of the company. Brown was at Stanford with Spiegel and Murphy, and in a lawsuit filed in February , claimed to have come up with the idea for "a mobile device application allowing users to send pictures to others that then quickly disappear from the recipient's mobile device".
The lawsuit claimed that "this is a case of partners betraying a fellow partner", and alleged that Spiegel and Murphy had reneged on an agreement to split the ownership of Snapchat three ways:. A later filing expanded the lawsuit to Snapchat's investors , and cited Google chats and s in an attempt to show that Brown was a co-founder, as well as a text message from Spiegel's father to Brown's mother referring to the three students working on their startup together. We've been here before, most infamously with the Winklevoss brothers' lawsuit against Facebook claiming that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had stolen the idea from them.
In , they ended the lawsuit and settled for a mixture of cash and Facebook share s. Whether Brown gets his day in court or reaches a settlement with Snapchat remains to be seen, but for now the lawsuit is a cloud hovering over the company. Snapchat has been associated with sexting right from its earliest days, despite the company's protests. That's partly down to journalists who didn't really understand Snapchat fastening onto the sauciest angle when covering it. But only partly. There's been plenty of discussion about just how private Snapchat is, whether that's apps like Snapchat Hack , which circumvents Snapchat's protection and allows people to share images, or the discovery that on Android "deleted" photos are merely hidden on the device , and can be retrieved with the right forensic software.
In December , a Tumblr blog called Snapchat Sluts published photos of topless women, although it claimed the images were all submitted willingly. A Facebook called Snapchat Leaked, which claimed to be posting saved Snapchat images without permission, was shut down in May, meanwhile.
Claims that the FBI is warning parents about paedophiles using Snapchat aren't backed up by any mention of the app on the agency's website, but separate worries about cyberbullies using the app are very real — for example this Mirror story about a girl bullied through the app , and her mother's concern about the way the messages often disappeared before her daugher could show them to her.
Snapchat isn't the only social networking service to be facing these kinds of concerns — Ask. On the other hand, the company appears touchy about being pressed on such subjects. Witness the disclosure at the end of the Palisadian Post interview cited earlier: "Spiegel agreed to be interviewed by the Palisadian Post under the guideline that no controversial questions would be asked. He also would not let this reporter audiotape the interview".
This is a key point: some people are sexting using Snapchat, and some of those people are teenagers. But the main appeal and thus the importance of Snapchat is about ephemeral messaging, and the desire to leave less digital tracks, with teenagers having watched the social over-sharing of the generation that came before them. Snapchat isn't the only beneficiary: messaging apps like WhatsApp are huge among teenagers for similar reasons.
Facebook's stock price wobbled in October after its chief financial officer David Ebersman told analysts that "we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens" in its last quarter. Ephemerality is the key to that, not sexting, and Snapchat has made an effort to hammer that point home, publishing an essay by researcher Nathan Jurgenson on its blog in July that spelled its philosophy out:.
What if social media, in all its varieties, was differently oriented to time by promoting temporariness by de? What would the various social media sites look like if ephemerality was the default and permanence, at most, an option? But to make social media more temporary fundamentally alters our relationships to online visibility, to data privacy, content ownership, the 'right to forget'.
It alters the functioning of social stigma, shame, and identity itself. Spiegel has given his own views too, in the Associated Press interview: "Somewhere along the way when we were building social media products we forgot the reason we like to communicate with our friends is because it's fun," he said. But we see real value in having a fun conversation with your friends. If teens are using Snapchat more and Facebook less, you'll understand why the social network might want to buy or kill it.
And it's already tried to do both. Kill it? That would be the Facebook Poke app , which launched in December as an unashamed clone of Snapchat: a way to send messages, photos and videos and decide how long friends could see them for. Spiegel was unimpressed at the time, releasing a statement — "Welcome, Facebook. Poke hasn't been a big success: on iPhone, for example, Snapchat is still the sixth most popular free app in the US app store, but Facebook Poke isn't even in the top The competition may be switching to the Facebook Messenger app though, which has improved its photo-sharing features over time.
As an app, Snapchat isn't standing still. In fact, it's getting into longer narratives through a feature called Snapchat Stories, which launched in October as a "fun and ephemeral" way to "share your day with friends — or everyone". By linking photos and videos together into "stories" where each snap lasts for 24 hours. The end of your Story today is the beginning of your Story tomorrow. And each Snap in your Story includes a list of everyone who views it," explained the company as it launched the feature across iOS and Android.
The company has also set its sights on even younger users, launching something called SnapKidz in June a way to use the Snapchat iOS app to create photos and videos, but not to share them with others. Snapchat is also thinking about new devices, launching a Snapchat Micro app for Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch in September, capable of shooting pics and videos with the device's camera, then sharing them.
Whatever you think of the sky-high valuations of Snapchat, its need to start proving it can make money from those m snaps shared every day is clear. According to Spiegel, the desire has been there from the start. Two obvious ways of making money present themselves: in-app purchases and advertising. For much of , Snapchat appeared to be veering towards the former. We think we can build really cool stuff people want to pay for. That means that they will — I at least would — pay for a more unique experience," he added in June One we talk about is in-app transactions selling extra content or features within the Snapchat app because we don't have to build a sales team to make cool things that people want to pay for," Spiegel told Associated Press this month.
So-called "native" advertising — that look like other content on the service — may play a role too, just as it's starting to do on Instagram. Brands including Taco Bell are already using Snapchat to communicate with customers, without paying to do so. Not everyone is convinced that this will work. Everyone hates it and Snapchat knows it will drive people away from the service and build resentment towards the brand The moment they start to annoy their users with subscriptions or obtrusive , users can easily switch to another service or simply stop using Snapchat.
Users switching to another service is the big threat hovering over Snapchat for the year to come, and it revolves around the sense that a buzzy social app is only ever one or two missteps away from a rapid user drain to its rivals. There's Facebook Messenger, the possibility of Twitter doing more with direct messaging, and a constant flood of new social apps jostling for the attention of teenagers in particular, from Frontback and Context through to Bieber-backed selfies-sharing app Shots of Me.
In , Snapchat faces the challenge of keeping its cool factor with improved features, raising more money to cover its costs while it searches for stable revenue streams, and continue to deal with the inevitable controversies that come the way of any social startup with a heavily-teenage user base. This article is more than 7 years old. Sexting, lawsuits, multi-billion dollar valuations — a warts-and-all primer on the planet's hottest social app.
Snapchat has a rapidly-growing audience of teens and twentysomethings. Photograph: Screengrab from Snapchat. Stuart Dredge. Wed 13 Nov Snapchat wasn't its founders' first product Snapchat's co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy started working together at Stanford University, initially on a website for students called Future Freshman, among other projects.
Snapchat has grown like the clappers Throughout its history, Snapchat's founders have preferred not to provide regular updates on how many people are using the app, opting instead for the metric of how many photos are being shared a day. Reuse this content.Sexting snapchat tumblr
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