By Karyn DeFranco
Snapchat is the relatively new craze that’s sweeping Americans’ iPhones and Androids. Practically everywhere you look, you see someone awkwardly taking a selfie in some sort of embarrassing pose.
The Snapchat app allows users to quickly send a picture to any person or group of people that have the app, control how long the receiver sees the picture and alerts users if one of the pictures sent has been screenshotted.
The main allure of this app is that all embarrassing pictures automatically delete between 1 and 10 seconds. This feature allows any horribly hideous and humiliating pictures a user sends to his or her friend for fun to be sent without much fear of the picture being used as blackmail at a later date.
Similarly, Snapchat is a free app to download and runs on the purchased data plan that users have on their iPhone or Android. If a user has an unlimited data plan there is no need to worry about additional fees from using Snapchat; however, if users have a set data plan, and data usage exceeds what is allotted by the plan, they can be subject to additional charges.
Another extremely popular feature of Snapchat is the ability of users to either add a text slide up to 36 characters long, or click on the pencil symbol in the upper right corner and draw on their pictures. This allows users to write a funny caption or get a point across in collaboration with the picture.
Also, Snapchat has recently added a new feature to their app where users can take brief videos to send to their friends, which also automatically delete, like the pictures, once the permitted time runs out.
However, the Snapchat app is receiving mixed signals from iPhone and Android users. Sabra Mwaura ‘16 believes that if “people use it as a way to communicate with their friends it’s a fabulous app, but it has an inappropriate connection to sexting.”
Since the pictures are deleted so quickly, Snapchat has been affiliated with sexting.
However, most people use the app, like Laura Schaud ‘16, as a way to “stay in touch with my friends from home since I don’t get to see them here.” Despite the controversy, the Snapchat app is a popular trend that offers users a unique method to communicatewith their friends.