Here are some things you may already know about Snapchat. Snapchat is a fleeting photo and video messaging service. You send your photo to your friends and give them a laugh for 10 seconds before the photo self-deletes. You can take all sorts of pictures from goofy to gorgeous. You can doodle mouse ears on your head, add a personal message, or otherwise make it awesome on your phone.
But here are some things you might not know about Snapchat, and some warnings from us… because a picture’s worth 1,000 tweets.
Snap. Send. Delete?
You can still find Snapchat photos online. Unlike a lot of other social media sharing sites (cough, Facebook), Snapchat doesn’t save your photos; they’re deleted from the Snapchat server as soon as they’re opened. But, as always, clever users have found away around this privacy measure. Just search #snapchat on twitter and you’ll see a ton of photos that have been saved and published to the Internet. Snapchat “cannot guarantee that the message contents will be deleted in every case” because quick recipients can capture screenshots.
Bottom line? While Snapchat is all about protecting your privacy, users may not be as trustworthy. Only send Snapchats – especially anything you wouldn’t want your parents seeing – to trusted friends.
If you are under 18 and using Snapchat, be extra careful. People (perhaps even you) use Snapchat to send some more risky photos (though most teens report using the app to send silly pictures and pass the time during geometry class). While this happens with any new technology (remember Chat Roulette?), there are things you need to know to protect yourself whether you choose to sext or not.
Sexually explicit pictures can get you in big trouble, even if they’re self-portraits. Creating and disseminating pornographic images of minors (even yourself) can be considered a felony. Think before you click, and maybe save it for an in-person rendezvous. If you are sexting, then just make sure you sext safely to spare yourself potential embarrassment later.
Not All the Kids Are Doing It…But Your Parents Are
Yes, your parents are on Snapchat, too. While most of Snapchat’s users are between 18-25 years old, they have a growing user base of people 40 years and older. The number of these adult users has been growing steadily since 2012. You know what that means: just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before, your parents are now joining Snapchat (and maybe your granny too!). Does that mean it’s time to move on to the latest social site before the retirees get on board? Check back here often for new apps that your parents know nothing about.