SnapChat: How It Works and Why You Should Use It

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Summary

SnapChat allows users to send funny things to friends, literally creating a new, soon-to-be-gone moment. Although it is not for everyone, those who send messages and worry about privacy or security will find it useful.

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Unique

There is a high chance that you have at least heard of SnapChat before. This small app blew up overnight and basically came out of nowhere, but millions have used it since then to send messages. Oh, and rumor has it that its developer is now worth billions.

It appears that with modern technology, SnapChat is one of the newest success stories, but there are still many who are unsure what it really is, how it works, and what is the point of using it. Keep reading and we will explain.

Why is SnapChat unique?

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When you take everything away, SnapChat is literally just another messaging app designed for mobile users. However, this does not explain what makes it so unique and popular. After all, if that was the extent of its features, SnapChat would have never had an advantage over other popular apps, such as Skype.

What makes SnapChat unique are what they refer to as “Snaps,” which are images taken and sent that only last for a matter of seconds before self-destructing. The sender sets the time limit, and once the recipient views the picture, the countdown begins. Once gone, it cannot be viewed again. The time limit is from 1 to 10 seconds.

Now, this makes the app unique, but also brings along the following questions.

Why use SnapChat?

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Currently, the most common response will probably be that it gives most an urge to send Snaps or messages that are considered NSFW, net-speak for “not safe for work.” Those who assume this would be within reason. Being able to send something you do not want to be accessed publicly, and using a self-destruct feature so it is gone forever like a pair of Mission Impossible glasses, just without the explosion, this is what SnapChat is basically for.

However, studies have concluded this is not what the majority of SnapChat users do, although some do use it for that purpose. The main reason people stated they used the app was because it was simply fun. It allowed them to send funny things to friends, literally creating a new, soon-to-be-gone moment.

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Now, if you mix those features with the app being free to use, that makes a winning combo that has led to it becoming quite popular in almost no time. Although it is not for everyone, those who send messages and worry about privacy or security will find it useful.

Note: although the app is designed for privacy and has security as a main consideration, it is still possible for messages and Snaps to not be permanently “gone.” Many phones have a default screenshot feature that could be used to capture a more permanent state of the message sent.  Ultimately, it is best to know who you are messaging to and avoid sending content not intended for the public.

[Featured image credit: Bart Dunweg / Image cropped]