The New Form of Communication: Snapchat

Nowadays with the availability of thousands of phone applications and device services, there are countless ways to communicate and message with others; whether its’ primarily through written messages such as iMessage, text messages, email, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, or through photo messages such as Instagram and now, Snapchat. Originally invented in September of 2011, it wasn’t until 2012 when it really began to take off. Snapchat offered a new concept, as described by Snapchat CEO’s Evan Spiegel’s in 2012, “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. Like when I think I’m good at imitating the face of a star-nosed mole, or if I want to show my friend the girl I have a crush on (it would be awkward if that got around), and when I’m away at college and miss my Mom…er…my friends.We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap.” Spiegel and his team used Snapchat to offer a quick second, real-time photo which showed reality, not an edited, photoshopped, idealized moment that Instagram and Facebook sometimes convey.

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Although Snapchat originally debuted in 2011, it wasn’t until late 2012 that it began to take off. By November 2012, the ghost emotion app quickly became the must-have app for communicating with friends. A sharp contrast from earlier in the year in May 2012, where just 25 images were being sent per second and, “November 28, 2012 saw that users had shared over one billion photos on the Snapchat iOS app, with 20 million photos being shared per day.” The quick disappearing images were fun, fast, and created a certain security in the fact that they didn’t last forever. You couldn’t be held accountable for a 10-long second photo for it disappeared as quickly as it came in, and couldn’t be shared with others who weren’t intended to see it. For the first time, you could control who saw what you posted,and for how long. The long time idea that photos shared online lasted forever was gone and people were sending riskier, more exciting photographs to one another. Since then snapchat has expanded and taken off exponentially expanding, and by November 2016 Snapchat users were sending 6 billion videos per day. In addition, Snapchat has expanded to include text messaging, “stories” which can be shared with all Snapchat friends and “Discover Weekly” which includes current news and national events from various networks such as CNN, and even US Weekly. Although it’s uncertain what is the future holds for Snapchat, it is certain that it is not going anywhere soon.

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