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YouSpeak: Snapchat

What’s so great about the photo-sharing app?


When Snapchat, the popular photo-sharing app created by two Sanford University frat brothers, turned down a $3 billion takeover offer from Facebook last month, the story made headlines. After all, the two-year-old social media company has yet to turn a profit.

But a closer look at Snapchat’s numbers holds a clue to why company founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy may be holding out for a bigger offer. Snapchat, which launched in September 2011, now has a million users sending 350 million photos a day—up from 60 million just 10 months ago. That’s nearly seven times the traffic of Instagram, another popular photo-sharing app.

Snapchat’s appeal lies in the fact that users can send photos and video messages that disappear just seconds after they are viewed, eliminating the risk of embarrassing photos resurfacing months—or years—later. (Yes, recipients can take a screenshot of what you’ve sent them, but when they do, you are notified of it.) No, users aren’t using the app just to send sexually suggestive photos. People can easily post photos and messages to friends, using the contacts in their mobile phone. So chances are, the ones you’re sharing with are people you know well. Among the app’s other big draws: users can illustrate and add captions to the pictures.

This week’s “YouSpeak” asks: “Do you use Snapchat?”

YouSpeak” typically appears on Mondays.

If you have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask, post it in the Comment section below.

Erik Duda, Multimedia Producer video film, BU Today, Bostonia, Boston University
Erik Duda

Erik Duda can be reached at erikduda@bu.edu.

2 Comments on YouSpeak: Snapchat

  • Anonymous on 12.09.2013 at 8:02 am

    It’s for sexting. The impermanence of the messages means that they can’t be saved and shared, removing the biggest downside to the activity.

    • Anonymous on 12.09.2013 at 8:20 pm

      Impermanence of snapchat images is a myth. Do a quick Google search and find any number of apps to save snapchat images without notifying the sender. The apps also include those that will pull images from previous snapchat sessions. Disappear doesn’t exist.

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