Snapchat is a multimedia mobile application that consists of the sharing of image messaging as well as chat platforms. Created in 2011, the app has developed and grown features such as face filters, snap map and ‘no limit’ options on your media messaging.
One of the benefits of snapchat, unlike other social Medias, is that there is a limited viewing time on the media you receive and send, making images and videos only viewable for up to 10 seconds. This therefore prevents the sharing and exploitation of images that could be sensitive, but also makes the app more fun and durable. However, this can also give the impression that sending risky or inappropriate messages is acceptable as they aren’t permanent unless deliberately saved in a chat. Although this feature of snapchat was valued and seen as unique to snapchat, they have recently introduced an option which allows you to put ‘no limit’ on your snapchats, making them viewable for as long as the receiver likes. Another option available when receiving media is the ‘replay’ option, allowing you to view the snap one more time.
On the topic of media being safe and private, Snapchat is the only social media app that lets you know when someone has screenshotted your message, however it does not change the fact that they have. This proves as a default as Snapchat poses as a sharing platform that does not make your media permanent, and by allowing the screenshot function, it gives users the chance to save others media without asking.
In June 2017, ‘Snap Map’ was introduced, which allows users to have their Bitmoji displayed on a map viewable to all users (privacy settings available). The map proves to be extremely accurate, giving your location and time of presence, as well as showing weather you are with another user, which will be displayed as you and that user next to each other in a white circle. ‘Snap Map’ also shows weather you are travelling, and what form of travel it is. This obviously poses as a danger as your location is visible to everyone, creating a very risky situation and the user is vulnerable. However, there is an option to have your account on ghost mode, which allows you to be hidden from all snap users but you can still view everyone else on the map. This feature has had very controversial reactions as on one hand it exploits privacy, and proves that Snapchat is accessible to your location at all times. But, on the other hand, could this be a revolutionary way to keep people safe, as we are able to find out their location with the click of a finger, perhaps preventing people being missing.
With all this said, Snapchat is a great way to communicate with family and friends, as it proves to be a fun, quick and easy platform of sharing media.