Snapchat is one of the most popular mobile apps out there with users sending 50 million messages a day with the service. What Snapchat does is allow you to send a picture or a short video to your contacts, with the option to have it permanently delete within a few seconds.
In the company's ad, they show someone sending an embarrassing picture. But you've got to imagine the service is being used to send lots of other nasty pictures. Much of the press around Snapchat centers on this angle. And it's understandable as people see the service as a safe way to send their scandalous photos.
But it's a false sense of security. Never do anything digital you don't want to be around forever.
1) You can take a screen grab of anything that pops up on your iPhone screen by pressing the home button and the button on the top. Snapchat notifies the sender that you did this, but the damage is done.
2) Tech savvy users have found a way to browse through the files on the phone to find the file directory where the videos live. They can then copy them onto a computer using apps like iFunBox and the sender is never notified.
3) And, of course, there's nothing to stop someone from taking a picture or video of their phone's screen with another camera. Sure, it's creepy, but it's also super easy.
This app is only popular because it gives the sense that your communications are temporary. Online, nothing really is. It's free, it's fun, but don't use this little ghost to send anything you wouldn't want to haunt you later.