With the increasing number of smartphone owners, social apps have become a popular way to spend free time. Specific social media apps make communicating with friends and colleagues both instant and simple. One growing app becoming common on Murray State’s campus is Snapchat.
Released in Sept. 2011, Snapchat was founded by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. The idea of the app is to share photos for a limited time.
According to Forbes Magazine, the rapid photo sharing app is used 30 million times a day by millions of users. Spiegel and Murphy struggled to make the idea a reality because of its similarities to Instagram and other apps.
To use Snapchat, the user snaps a picture and sends it to another user. What makes this app unique is the receiver can only view the picture for as long as the sender sets the app timer. The timer can be set for 1-10 seconds. Once the picture is viewed, the picture is immediately deleted after the time ends. Users can not view their photos once they are sent.
“Snapchat has become one of my favorite forms of communication,” said Halle Pinkham, from Elizabethtown, Ky. “I can send my friends the goofiest pictures of myself and know they can’t save it and use it as blackmail.”
The difference between apps like Instagram and other photo-sharing apps and websites is that those pictures can be saved and viewed whenever and however many times a user wishes.
Snapchat brings the ability to send an embarrassing picture to friends without the worry of them saving the pictures. Users who send photos can take snapshots of whatever they wish and they send them without risk of them going viral or being shared unless someone takes a screenshot of their phone. If someone does take a screenshot of your photo, you are notified.
“I use Snapchat because it’s a fun, virtual way of communicating with your friends through series of pictures,” said Lexi Sosh, junior from Evansville, Ind. “You can constantly keep your friends updated with what you’re doing and send silly pictures to them. Over Winter Break it was useful because I could keep in touch with my friends without being there.”
Snapchat isn’t for everyone, however. Some people claim the app is a waste of phone space and time.
“I don’t use Snapchat because I can text my friends whenever I want. It’s the same deal,” said Austin Lamb, freshman from Wingo, Ky.
Whether it’s a fad or the next Instagram, Pinkham said Snapchat is thrilling.
The app is currently free for download for both Android and iPhone.
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Contributing writer.