New “Snap Chat” App Lets Users Send Quickies, Creates Controversy

One of the hottest device crazes sweeping the cell phone community right now is the increasing ubiquity of “Snap Chatting.” This nifty little application allows users to snap quick pictures, draw or add text over them, and share them with friends. The app would be comparable to other photo-messaging apps like Instagram, except for a unique wrinkle: the pictures sent are only viewable for a small window of time (10 seconds maximum), before they are deleted from the phone’s memory. The number of seconds a photo-message can be seen is determined by the sender.

This particular function has caused a bit of a stir among some critics, who point out that the short memory-life of the pictures makes the application ideal for “sexting,” which, yes, it definitely is perfect for.

The app was developed by four dudes from Stanford named David Kravitz, Daniel Smith, Bobby Murphy, and Even Spiegel, who said they wanted “to create value in the ephemeral,” which kind of sounds like something you tell your first girlfriend. Anyway, for the record, Spiegel says the app was not intended for sexting, telling TechCrunch earlier this year that most of the feedback he received was about users “sending funny faces…not racy images.” To which I reply, are those two things really mutually exclusive?

Although the SnapChat app is more popular with teenagers than any other demographic (go figure), some parents are concerned that it might encourage them to send and receive inappropriate pictures under the assumption that the photos won’t be saved after ten seconds. Evan Speigel, for one, thinks this is ridiculous.

“I’m not convinced that the whole sexting thing is as big as the media makes it out to be,” Speigel said, while stroking a furry white cat seated in his lap, I assume. “I just don’t know people who do that. It doesn’t seem that fun when you can have real sex.” Lo and behold, the founder of SnapChat doesn’t really think that people do the thing that critics say is why you shouldn’t let your kids download SnapChat. Makes sense, right? I mean, sexting doesn’t really seem that fun to Evan Speigel, so why would anyone else with a cell phone ever do it? It’s probably all just a big hoax, am I right?

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