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Snapchat is an unnecessary, fun app, but photos’ resting place raises concerns

Snapchat, an app that allows users to share photos for about 10 seconds, is taking campus by storm. Credit: Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

Snapchat, an app that allows users to share photos for about 10 seconds, is taking campus by storm.
Credit: Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

Snapchat has taken over.

The free iPhone or Android application is used 30 million times a day according to Forbes, and its presence on campus is undeniable .

Some people might ask, why not just send a picture message? Well, that would take an extra three seconds, I can’t draw devil horns or a mustache on my face and the picture could be saved for future blackmail. Snapchat eliminates these problems since the image essentially self-destructs after about 10 seconds. Perfect. Now all my friends can know what I look like when I’m not paying attention in class.

Since the pictures can’t be saved — in fact you’ll be notified if someone attempts to screenshot the image — many have rushed to the conclusion that all snaps are racy and therefore must be deleted as soon as possible to avoid detrimental consequences.

Come on.

Forbes called it the “biggest no-revenue mobile app since Instagram,” high praise considering Instagram has reached 100 million users. But recent articles in the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune express concerns that the app increases every parent’s nightmare, the dreaded “sexting.”

While I don’t pretend to believe that sexting snaps don’t occur (probably on a daily basis considering more than 1 billion snaps had been sent as of Oct. 28), but to write off this app as simply a sexting tool doesn’t give creators Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy enough credit.

According to the Snapchat website, the app’s purpose is to “make ‘social media’ fun again.” So sexting aside, is it serving the greater good? No. But it is fun and why scrutinize that?
While I write this, I think I can spot at least three people in Bruegger’s trying to discretely snap and I have three unopened snaps waiting for me. Needless to say, Snapchat has infiltrated smartphones campus wide. The same way “Google” became a verb, increasingly I hear people saying, “Oh so-and-so just snapped me at work.”

I resisted downloading the app when it first came out last year, but the incessant giggles from friends checking their snaps had me wondering what all the hype was about. Through my extensive research the conclusion is: it’s funny. I think it’s safe to say most students have a smartphone nowadays and, if you do, a lot of your time might be spent on various social media apps or texting friends, so why not add goofy pictures into the mix?
My main concern is where all the pictures actually go — Snapchat officials say via their website that they have no access to your pictures and they just disappear. I think all of us using this app in what seems to be a battle of who can make the ugliest face want to know where in cyberspace all these images are being dumped.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see — something to keep in mind before you send that next snap.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about that cheeky ghost mascot, his name is “Ghostface Chillah” according to Snapchat’s website.

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