Launched in 2011, Snapchat is an application that allows individuals to send pictures and videos to their friends. Once the pictures or videos are sent, individuals receiving them can only view them for 10 seconds before they disappear.
Wait…What…What’s the point?
Viewing pictures or videos (known as snaps on Snapchat) for a maximum time of 10 seconds sounds pointless, but to the teenage and millennial age, it was something that caught on at a dramatic rate. Captions, filters and doodles can also be added to the pictures (snaps) sent. In addition to this, users can create a 24-hour story, which would include an array of snaps that is broadcast to followers and friends.
If users would like to save a snap before it disappears, they would need to take a screen shot of it. Elise Moreau, author of the article What Is Snapchat? An Intro to the Popular Ephemeral App, states that users can compare Snapchat to text messaging…however instead of using text to communicate users are using pictures and videos. “Unlike other social networks, which keep your content online forever unless you decide to delete it, Snapchat’s disappearing content makes online interaction feel more human and a little more grounded in the present moment”.
Setting up Snapchat in 6 easy steps
- Download the Snapchat application. This is FREE and available on the App store or Google Play store
- Create an account. You will need to open up the application and click on ‘sign up’
- Create a username
- Verify that you are a human and not a robot
- Scan your contacts
- Get snapping
Privacy steps to take with Snapchat
- Set up login verification
In order to prevent unauthorised access into your account you should include a password and verification code that you need to enter into your device before you can log into Snapchat.
- Limit who can contact you
Anyone in the world has access to see your snaps and videos that you post, unless you choose to set up your account so only your friends can contact you.
- Choose who sees your stories and snaps
Remember that you have the option of customising a friend list of who can see your stories and snaps. This can be done in the settings tab. All you need to do is scroll to the “Who can” section and click on “My story” From there you can select “Everyone”, “My Friends” or “Custom”
- Snapchat has a ‘block’ feature
You have the option of blocking contacts who add you that you do not know. In order to limit the amount of strangers adding you to their Snapchat remember not to make any public posts about your Username or Snapcode online.