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What is Snapchat?

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a photo messaging application allowing users can take photos, videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a predetermined set of recipients. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (messages) from 1 to 10 seconds, after which they will be hidden from the recipient's device and deleted from Snapchat's servers.

Snapchat is designed so that all photos and videos will disappear after a predetermined amount of time set by the sender. However, users have negotiated ways to keep photos after their intended time set. One of the primary ways Snapchat users keep photos is through taking a snapshot. A screenshot is when the user makes their own copy of the photo by taking a photo of their screen while the snap is showing. In addition, there are applications available that will circumvent Snapchat’s deleting system and save photos or videos permanently.

Many teens use this application, the main demographic of Snapchat users are between 13 and 23 years of age. That is why it is important to stress to children and teens that once an image is online, there is no getting it back. Children need to be mindful of who receives their messages, what those messages contain and how it could be used to hurt them. Posting a child's pictures on any site could put them at risk for victimization.