Most would avoid such direct associations, for good reason – it’s immature, and edgy when it doesn’t need to be.
But not the makers of the enormously popular app, Snapchat, which allows people to send images and videos that “self-destruct” after a few seconds.
The company claims messages are deleted once they are opened, but there have been a series of recent scandals showing that this may not be completely accurate. Their product is far from perfect, and there are several ways to compromise the protection they offer. It is never a good idea to send something over the internet that would damage you or your reputation if it became public. While this may be common sense, it has little to do with how we actually act online.
The makers of Snapchat are right to reject the “sexting app” label – it’s not clear that this is what it is even being used for, and everyone deserves the option to communicate privately when they want, without automatically being branded as a pervert.
Within a few months of launching, the company has made an enormous and lasting impact on the culture of communication on the Internet, and we should all be grateful.
Most importantly, we may finally get a break from the forced permanence of the Facebook and Google world, where everything you do and share is a data point to be monetized and re-sold to the highest bidder.
And Snapchat isn’t even the best product out there – there’s a whole slew of communication tools that are more secure and functional making their way into the public eye.
One of those is Wickr, created by RSA veteran Nico Sell, a more serious security-focused app that uses “military-grade” encryption to send text, video, voice, and document files that can self-destruct after a given period of time.