Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app and platform developed by American camera and social media company Snap Inc. One of the app’s main features is ephemeral (self-destructing) chats and messages; content sent in this manner is only available after a short period and is made unavailable to their recipients.
The app also features Stories and Discover, which brands use to show short-form, ad-supported content. Users can use My Eyes Only to store content in a password-encrypted manner. As of 2022, Snapchat has 363 million daily active users worldwide.
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Notable Features of Snapchat
In 2011, Snapchat was created by former Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy. It is known for representing a mobile-first aspect of social media and emphasizes users interact using virtual stickers and objects created via augmented reality. On average, more than 4 billion Snaps are sent daily; most of its activity comes from younger generations—ages 16 and below.
One of the core features of Snapchat is creating multimedia content called Snaps. It can consist of a photo or a short video and can be edited with filters, text captions, effects, and drawings. Snaps can be shared with personal contacts, as a Story to a selected audience, and publicly via Our Story.
By 2012, Snapchat allowed users to send video snaps. Later, the app had an update that enabled users to capture 10-second videos by holding the Photo button while using the app. After viewing the video once, it disappears by default.
In 2014, Snapchat released an update containing direct messaging and video chat features. It allowed users to send ephemeral (self-destructing) text messages to other users while saving information by tapping on the message. Private message photo snaps can be viewed based on a user-determined length (1 to 10 seconds) before they become unavailable.
Users were formerly required to hold down the screen when viewing a snap to avoid in-app screenshots. However, this feature was removed in 2015. Instead, Snapchat allows screenshots on snaps but will notify the owner once it’s been saved.
Users can add friends on Snapchat via usernames or through their phone contacts, via Snapcodes, or using the Add Nearby feature, which allows the app to scan users near their location.
The Memories feature on Snapchat was released in 2016. It allows snaps and shared stories to be saved in private storage, where they can be viewed along with other photos saved on the device and messages and story posts at any time. According to Snapchat, this feature was inspired by the practice of manually scrolling through pictures on a smartphone to show them to others.
Contents from the Memories storage can be found by date or using an object recognition system. Snaps saved in the Memories storage can be placed into a My Eyes Only area encrypted with a personal identification number (PIN) upon setup.