If you still haven't installed the APK of Snapchat on your Android smartphone or tablet or you simply don't know what this ephemeral messaging application come social network is all about, it could be due to two reasons: either you're no longer as young as you think you are or you're simply not up to date with what teenagers use on their phones nowadays.
What is Snapchat?
Keeping things short, Snapchat is a mobile app developed in 2010 by three Stanford students, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, and that's available for both Android and iPhone, from which you can send ephemeral messages, photos, videos, and drawings (that are called snaps). Ephemeral because they're deleted after a brief period of time that by default is ten seconds, although the user can adjust the amount of time they're available.
This message will be self-destructed in 10 seconds.
This temporary nature allows us to share any image or video that we don't want to keep on the Internet forever: we're talking about stupid photos, intimate pics or simply snaps that are too embarrassing to upload them to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. Its main features are the following:
- Send drawings, videos and images to the people on your contact list.
- Apply different filters and effects to the photos you send.
- Share messages with your friends for a brief amount of time.
- Establish how long your message will be visible.
- Follow the stories of other anonymous users or celebrities.
- Receive notifications each time the recipients capture your message.
The new dating app for teenagers
The ephemeral nature of the application has turned it into a new way of flirting from a mobile phone, in which teenagers and not so young people exchange photos and messages that will only be visible for a short period of time. Or that's at least what they think because anyone can take a screenshot and save the snap forever, although luckily enough, the application notifies us every time our messages or images are captured.
But, what happens to the snaps once they disappear? where do they go? can't anyone access them? Well, the developers of the app say that once the recipient of our snap has seen it, it will disappear forever, but the truth is that these messages remain on our phone with an extension that makes the invisible, but allowing them to be recovered with the right application, which definitely affects our privacy.
Much more than ephemeral messaging
Ok, so even if Snapchat was originally conceived as a communications application to exchange messages and photos, for quite some time users simply want to use it for the funny effects we can apply to any photos. If apps like MSQRD or Face Swap have become tremendously popular due to the possibility to create fun photo montages or to be able to swap faces with a friend, this app doesn't fall short, being able to apply all sorts of stunning effects in real time. For such purpose, you only have to:
- Step 1: Focus your face with the camera for selfies.
- Step 2: Tap on any area of the screen.
- Step 3: Explore the menu with the different filters available.
- Step 4: Obey the on-screen instructions such as opening your mouth or blinking to perform real-time effects.
- Step 5: Add text and stickers to your snap.
Now it's up to you to save your photos mucking around for your own personal enjoyment or publish the snap, in which case you have to tap the center circle for the app to capture the image (or press longer if you want to record a video), and then tap on the blue arrow to access a menu from where you can choose who you want to send your message to.
But, can I see who has seen my snaps? Yes, it's as easy as going to your story, clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the screen and select the icon that looks like an eye. There you'll see the name of the users that have viewed your photos and videos.
But, who uses this application?
Well, as we said before, it's probably the trendiest application among teenagers, but there are also plenty of celebrities that are using this app, from famous youtubers like elrubius, to popular singers like Ariana Grande, or even actors of the likes of Robert Pattison, James Franco or Jared Leto. Nobody should be surprised that these celebrities are taking a shot at becoming snapchatters to get closer to their fans since the platform has overtaken Twitter in the number of active users: over 150 million and rising.
What's new in the latest version
The new features present in the latest Snapchat update for Android devices are mostly focused on bringing in new creators and influencers:
- General improvements and corrections that haven't been disclosed by its developers.
- Group video chats with up to 15 participants.