Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send and receive "self-destructing" photos and videos. Photos and videos taken with the app are called snaps.
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Snapchat uses the device's camera to capture snaps and Wi-Fi technology to send them. The app allows the sender to draw or insert text on the snap and determine how many seconds (one to 10) the recipient can view it before the file disappears from the recipient's device. Messages can only be viewed once -- and during the viewing period, the recipient must maintain contact with the device's touchscreen or the snap disappears.
The Snapchat application, which a small team of Stanford University students developed, launched in September 2011 and is available for both Apple iOS and Google Android devices. In May 2013, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint against Snapchat Inc. with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleging that the company is misleading users by encouraging them to believe that pictures are permanently removed from Snapchat servers within seconds of viewing.
In September 2016, the company behind the Snapchat app changed its name to Snap Inc.
Snapchat Stories are compilations of snaps that create a narrative, as they appear in chronological order. They are comprised of a combination of photos, videos, graphics and illustrations, such as stickers. Each compilation contains snaps that a user has posted to his or her Story over the last 24 hours. Each Snap appears for 24 hours, and the user's friends can view them an unlimited number of times before they expire.
Snapchat Memories is a personalized album of snaps and Stories that a user can download and save within the Snapchat app directly. The ability to reshare these archived snaps and Stories is one of the main benefits of Snapchat Memories.
Snapchat's portrait lenses, also known as animated filters, have become a sensation since their introduction in September 2015. With these features, a user can create a selfie that distorts his or her image. Examples of popular Snapchat Filters include those that transform users into dogs, shoot lasers from their eyes and place a crown of flowers on their heads.
Snapchat privacy concerns
See also: Multimedia Messaging Service