Snapchat is a software that allows you to exchange messages through photo chatting or even video chatting. A brilliant idea and a revolutionary communication method, that was created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, three Stanford University students (or at least they were students back then).
The creators of Snapchat created the app because they felt that emoticons weren’t enough to express people’s feelings when texting. Also, they gave people the opportunity to share silly and funny pictures of their selves that they are embarrassed to upload on any social media. That is why pictures can be viewed only for a limited amount of time after which they are deleted.
After you download the app you will need to sign in with an account or create a new one. You can also connect with an existing Facebook account. Then, a nickname and a phone number will be required where a confirmation password will be sent in order to verify your account.
Once you activate the app, your camera is automatically activated and you can either get a selfie with the front camera which is the default option or switch to your back camera to capture images with a better quality. On the upper side of the screen you will notice Snapchat’s logo – a little whit ghost. There, you will be able to manage your Snapchat contacts, which you can add either by allowing the app access to your phone contacts or if you know your friends’ app nicknames.
After the last update, you can take a picture of the user you want to add and just add them to your contacts without knowing their phone number or their nickname. This feature comes in handy mostly in clubs and other loud places where you might find talking a little hard.
On the bottom left corner you can view your chat history while on the right there are the so called “stories”. Those are basically profile statuses or in other words photos or videos you can upload to your profile which will be visible to everyone even if they’re not your friends.
The most notable feature that was added after the last update is Discover. You can go to that feature by swiping twice to the left. On the Discover page, there are news from world class media such as CNN, MTV, Daily Mail, National Geographic. That is the result of a mutual effort from all parties to narrate everyday news through pictures and videos.
Snapchat wishes to overcome the viral fashion. That means there are not aiming in bringing to site only popular news with many shares and likes. They are working closely with columnists, editors and artists to define what is worth the publicity. Stories are updated on a daily basis because “today’s news is tomorrow’s history”.
The app can also be used for sexting (sending pictures, videos or texts with sexual content) but such use is not suggested due to the fact that there is always a way for the receiver to save you picture (for example they can use another phone to take a picture of their screen or use third party apps). So be careful when you are using Snapchat for that kind of purposes.
In general, this is an innovative application that contributes to making distant communications easier and more fun. The owners refused to sell Snapchat to Facebook for 3 billion dollars. Most people found it a bad decision. But now, after the Discover feature, it’s becoming clear that they are not just after the money. Their goal is to create new ways to communication and news transfer. And so far they seem to be doing well.