Snapchat raises $13.5 million to help teens sext more effectively

Two dudes, 22 and 24 years old, built a sexting app through which more than 60 million "snaps" (photo-messages) are now sent daily. The messages are ephemeral, and vanish irretrievably shortly after they're sent, which people seem to think is great for sending dicks or boobs. Anyway, they've just raised $13.5 million to grow the business. FML. You can hate Snapchat all you like, you old person you, but it's not likely to go away any time soon.


  1. Seems like they’re likely to “go away” right after the first major lawsuit over “irretreivably vanished” photos that spread all over the Internet anyhow. This is basically the old DIVX DVD DRM model applied to images. It’s at least as futile. I’d write a save-’em-all utility myself, just out of annoyance, but a quick Google makes it clear that there are more than enough people happy to show you how to make your friend’s Shapchats permanent.

  2. So how long before we get a verb for the activity of hacking the security and posting saved Snapchat pix online? I propose we call it “Snapswapping”. As in “OMG my ex just snapswapped me all over 4chan”. It’s gonna be bigger than planking.

  3. You can take a screenshot and which effectively saves the images. The app warns the sender about this but that will do nothing to make the embarrassing life of the image on the internet less permanent.

    I don’t hate snapchat but I do chose to ignore it.

    1. It doesn’t warn them if you take an entirely separate picture of the screen, naturally. Lossy, but still unsafe.

    2. I don’t think most users are dumb enough to think that there’s no technical way for the picture to be saved.  But unlike with conventional sexting, pictures don’t get saved unintentionally or casually.  There’s also a clear personal boundary being articulated through technology.  “I want you to see this now, but not keep it.  Sure, you /could/ go against my wishes, but it’s pretty clear I don’t want you to. And if you do, it’ll be pretty clear you did it intentionally.”

      This technology doesn’t exist within a vacuum.  Interpersonal relationships are both the reason it’s relevant and the force that makes it work.

      1. “I don’t think most users are dumb enough to think…” Spoken like someone who hasn’t been a teenager in a while and has forgotten how incredibly stupid they can be,  and/or hasn’t been a parent of teenagers, who will, quite unbidden, remind one of how stupid teenagers can be. “Daddy, I didn’t think it could..” is a common refrain at my house, and my kid is at the far right of the bell curve on intelligence and has always been an easy, “good” kid. Teenagers also won’t be real good at the “I want you to see this now, but not keep it…And if you do, it’ll be pretty clear you did it intentionally.” Sexting usually is done with the implied “You won’t show this to anyone” attached. All this changes is you’ll have to google how to make a screen shot so the next time yer honey sexts you are ready to save it. Net skeeviness? Very high, but not much higher than it was the old way.

      2. “But unlike with conventional sexting, pictures don’t get saved unintentionally or casually”

        I don’t think those are ever saved “unintentionally or casually”.

  4. High school senior here, I can tell you I know a hundred people who use snapchat, and none who use it for sexting. Everyone knows what it’s built for, but literally 100% of the people I know who have it use it to annoy their friends with funny pictures and that sort of thing.

  5. We have a 13 year old son who carries an 3GS iphone, has an ipad that he bought himself, and also a beat up laptop. We have had several discussions about how easy it can be to screw up your life in a big way, a “blue dot on your address with the Sheriff’s office” kind of way, especially as to exchanging explicit photos. We insist on knowing his passwords so that we can access his devices whenever we choose, and even do unexpected as well as sneak inspections. He has never been on fb, he prefers instagram, and now uses KIK instead of texting. Most of his older brother’s friends use twitter as their main channel. There is no way in hell any parent can keep up with the new apps and tech that kids will uncover and use to operate secretly. A parent can only teach judgement. Times they are a-changin’

    1. “A parent can only teach judgement.”

      That has always been true.  The times may be a-changin’ but kids have always been able to screw themselves up.  I certainly could have in the pre-internet days 40+ years ago without my parents knowing.  Fortunately they did teach judgement.

    2. Just so that you know, he has a set of clean accounts, for which he’s given you the passwords, and a set of real accounts, for which he hasn’t.

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