If you had asked me what Snapchat was five months ago, I would have stared blankly back at you, writes Clayton Short. Now, a few months on and nearly 2,000 Snapchats later, I could wax lyrical about the photo-sharing app until you wished you never asked in the first place!
But why has this app got myself and millions like me across the world so hooked?
For those perhaps less ‘with it’, technologically speaking of course, Snapchat is an application for your smart phone which allows you to send and receive both edited and unedited photos and videos to another user. The catch being that the media sent is only viewable for a maximum of ten seconds.
Sound simple enough? Well it is this uncomplicated formula which has given rise to an estimated 200 million exchanges being made by users each day.
If you were to ask a Snapchat user (if you don’t use it yourself then chances are the person next to you will) what a typical Snapchat that they send or receive contains, they’d more than likely say a selfie, a picture of their meal or a video of their domestic pet.
However, it would seem that not everyone is satisfied with a photo of a potato or a Snapchat of a fat cat. Some look to Snapchat as a means by which to exchange content of a strictly adult nature. It only takes a quick trawl through rival social networking website Facebook for you to find a plethora of groups and pages entitled ‘SNAPCHAT LEAKED’ or ‘SNAPCHAT ADULTS ONLY’. These pages often contain photos taken by Snapchat users who have shown a little too much of their ‘selfie’ before sharing it with other users on their contact list.
This is where the use of the dreaded screenshot comes into play. A user can screenshot the video or image sent to them thus enabling them to keep it forever, flying in the face of the apps ten second rule. A notification is sent to the victim of the screenshot, however this is scant consolation and serves only as a warning that your contact, the screenshotter, now has possession of a photo you didn’t necessarily want them to own.
It is these people who fall victim to screenshotting, a fate worse than death which could result in your bare posterior or your timid manhood being shared on one of these grim pages much to the joy of frenzied hordes of Facebook users who, upon such images, will quickly like, share and comment. A deadly trinity of actions that would quickly draw humiliation from even the most thick-skinned of individuals.
As an avid user of the app, I stand vehemently against the use of screenshotting on Snapchat, and try to avoid people who I refer to simply as ‘screenshotters’. For me, taking a screenshot on Snapchat is about as annoying as those people who constantly post pictures of themselves on Facebook, like everybody else actually gives a damn, you just don’t do it. Unfortunately, not everyone lives by such principles.
I’d like to make the point that not everyone uses the app as a way to sate such a depraved thirst, myself included. I wouldn’t inflict that on my friends. No. A Snapchat from me would more than likely consist of anything from a silly face to a video of myself dancing full throttle around my kitchen, but that’s a different feature altogether.
So what’s my point? Stop using Snapchat or cut down on the amount of times you use it? Of course not. I’d be a hypocrite to offer such advice having comfortably exceeded 2000 snapchats myself. Getting advice from me on limiting your Snapchat usage would be like asking Miley Cyrus for tips on how to dress appropriately.
No. I would just urge those more expressive, shall we say, users of the app to express a little more caution so that you yourself do not fall victim to the dreaded screenshot.
Have you fallen victim to the dreaded screenshot? Let us know in the comments below…