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Snapchat: This message will self-destruct

Snapchat
You have 10 seconds or less to read this blog post. 10… 9... 8...

Okay, you really do have longer than that, but if this message had appeared via your Snapchat app, that would have been a reality. This is a fast-growing app with over 50,000,000 “snaps” shared each day. It has also become an app of choice for today’s youth. With an increasing awareness of people's aversion to leaving a digital footprint in mind, Snapchat’s concept provides a useful alternative. 

What is it?
Snapchat is a video and photo-sharing app that provides users with a way to send media to one or more people. The main feature of Snapchat is that your "conversations" are not saved – making the electronic communication more like our normal human communication, where what we say is not saved for all-time, but only revenant to the moment. Hence the auto-delete feature that makes it so unique.

How does it work?
It plays out like this: I take a photo or video, add an optional caption, and send it to one or more people. Before I send it, I get prompted to set the time it is available on the receiver's screen, with the option for it to stay on screen for up to 10 seconds before disappearing forever.

Now, many of you tech-savvy folks out there know how to do a screen capture—but just know that if you do that to a Snapchat, the sender will be notified immediately. Taking a screen capture of a Snapchat photo is a social faux pas, and is in extremely poor taste.

Facebook took notice
Snapchat is a rising star, which has caught the attention of social media giant Facebook. Facebook saw the success of the platform and built an app called "Poke" in 12 days to rival it.

Poke has many of the same features and allows for messages, video or photos, and notification when someone takes a screen shot. You may also choose how long the recipient can see the media that you sent. However, it has not taken off (it has less than a 1% market share) and has dropped out of the top 700 most downloaded apps. The Poke missed its mark.

What is the cost and where can I get it?
Snapchat is a free app available on both Android and iOS. Just hop on and download it.

Oh, Snap
You can expect to see more apps like this. This type of app will not be a fad—expect current growth to continue, with 12% of iPhone users opening Snapchat in February of 2013, according to Onova.

Snapchat mimics the natural flow of human communication with its ability to communicate freely without worrying about recordings and future repercussions. This is how we have communicated since the beginning of time, and for some, it is refreshing to be able to return to that primitive way of communication.