About 50 million photos are exchanged each day on Snapchat, the sexting app of choice for today’s teens. The way it works is that people can send other Snapchat users self-destructing photos — maximum 10 seconds — after which they disappear from the phone. Although the creators of the app have always insisted it’s not intended for sending indecent photos, that is clearly the main thing it’s used for. Because obviously.
With thousands of new users each day, Snapchat recently added video capability to the app and is set to raise millions of dollars in funding from investors. Teenage sexuality has finally been monetized!
Not content to let a bunch of upstarts corner the market on sexting, however, Facebook is reportedly developing its own sexting app now. Having bought Instagram for $1 billion this year, it’s not likely that the social network will just sit back and watch as a competitor steals all the best dick pics.
Snapchat may be a slightly more secure way to share nude photos, if you must, but there are many problems with it. Although users are notified if someone takes a screenshot, what’s to stop someone from just doing it anyway? And even without screenshots, nothing stops someone from simply taking a photo of the smartphone screen. Not only that, your most-messaged friends appear on a public profile that anyone can see and Snapchat makes no guarantees about how quickly the photo disappears from its servers.
But never mind all that. A lot of money is at stake and there’s no point wringing our hands while there’s advertising to be sold next to your friend’s privates. Especially with a company like Facebook, whose entire business model is based on sharing your private information with as many people as possible, this is going to be fun to watch as it unfolds. And if all our naked photos do end up on the internet, because they obviously will, at least they’ll have some cool filters to make them look retro.