Photo: rogersmj/ Flickr
Snapchat, a photo-sharing app, has seen massive growth since launching last year in September.We are convinced that that runaway growth has a lot to do with features that make it ideal for sexting, or sharing risqué photos of yourself with friends.
Or “friends,” we should say, who might suddenly turn around and share those photos with others or post them online.
At least in theory, Snapchat makes it impossible for your “friends” to do that.
(In reality, there are ways around the controls, so be careful. Those nude, drunk photos you thought it would be fun to share might find their way to Facebook even if you use Snapchat).
Snapchat is pretty simple to use. You take a photo, send it to a friend, and decide how long they can see it for, anywhere between one and 10 seconds. After that, it’s gone.
Sounds like a pretty good way to send naughty photos, right?
There’s no such thing as safe sexting.
While Snapchat tries to deter users from taking screenshots of your photos, it’s definitely still possible to do it.
Snapchat requires you to keep your finger on the photo the entire time you’re looking at it, so mobility is limited. But anyone with two hands can easily figure out a way to take a screenshot of your photo before it disappears.
Snapchat will let you know if someone took a screenshot of your photo, but at that point, it’s too late because now that person has their own copy of the picture to share with who knows how many people.
At least you’ve been warned.
We’ve asked Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel about all the sexting-friendly features he built into the app. After all, why worry about people sharing your photo if it’s an innocent snapshot?
He hasn’t responded to our questions, asking instead if we’ve used the app.
We have. It is possible to keep it clean while using Snapchat, as we’re doing in this walkthrough. But it also gave us a clear picture of how teens might use the app in the real world.