Ng: Photo sharing-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Thursday, February 21, 2013
ONE of the more popular picture-snapping tool currently making the rounds in both Android and Apple devices is an application called Snapchat. It’s an instant messaging tool and you can send videos or pictures together with your message. There is just one slight twist – when you send the picture to your friend, the photo will self destruct – you can set it so that it will automatically delete itself anytime from one to 10 seconds.
At first, this defies logic. Why send a photo that will just delete itself? Well, after the video scandal we have locally and numerous scandalous pictures that are coming out because of the permanence of data – once you email or post a picture, it will always be there- somewhere, maybe there is some fun in pictures that will delete themselves.
And people seem to agree. Since it started over a year ago, people have sent back and forth over a billion photos and currently, it was logging tens of millions of photos each day. It is said to be popular with students, and maybe you can see why. Of course, you can use the app to take a snapshot of your test paper, send it to another classmate and she would receive it, and it would delete itself in a few seconds.
It seems too to have become a popular tool for flirting. People can send provocative pictures to somebody, confident that it will be gone in a few seconds so there would be no record of it. I think people also like the idea that they are not burdened by the storage requirements of the pics, or that they can send pictures of anything (silly pictures, ridiculous faces, unkempt faces) knowing that hopefully no permanent record of those photos exist.
Of course, there is a caveat – most smartphones like Apple’s have the capability to take screen shots, so it is possible that the picture can be saved for posterity, but the app would notify the sender. Among the people who used it, there is an implied agreement that saving something sent through Snapchat is a major faux pas, but then again, you can never be sure.
So very quickly, Snapchat is now the second most popular free photo and video app this month. Will it be a flash in the pan or is this concept going to last? We don’t know. There are many ventures that are sustainable and there are games and apps that, after being number one for a few weeks, disappear forever never to regain its following. Facebook is reportedly working on a new app that is almost similar called Poke. Maybe you’d like to try that too?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2013.