Over the past year, Snapchat has created and established a brand new media market among adolescents. The idea is innovative and unique; it captures a little bit of everything, all in a single “selfie”. The refreshing idea of a picture that only lasts 10 seconds rather than forever has appealed to teens all over the world and made Snapchat a new medium of communication. With its recent update, you can not only send photos and videos to just one person, but post stories for all of your contacts to see.
The app, developed by Stanford graduates even Spiegel and Robert murphy in 2012, attracts users between ages 13 and 23. According to Wikipedia, eighty percent of users are located in the United States. Over the past two years Snapchat has had its highs and lows, from being the number one app bought online to being overshadowed by recent vine and Instagram updates. It recently hit its height when Facebook offered the company 3 billion dollars on November 14, 2013. The offer was one-upped by Google who offered the company 4 billion dollars the next day.
Yet for teens all over, Snapchat poses somewhat of a security threat. Because the world we live in today is dominated by social media, adolescents face a widespread challenge concerning just how much is safe to post. Snapchat appears to cheat the system by creating a time limit for media because snaps are said to disappear within 1-10 seconds. But do they really go away? On January 1, 2014, the names and phone numbers of 4.6 million users were released and posted on the Internet. So is Snapchat as secures as it promises?
Though it has its perks and has established itself in the media world, Snapchat may be tracking, storing, and releasing photographs and personal information. As teens, we need to be aware of what information we are putting online, and where that information is going. In my opinion, Snapchat should ultimately be treated like any other social media application. So think twice before snapping, you never know where that picture, video, or drawing could end up.
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