Review: Snapchat- Fun Social Photosharing App– or something more Devious?

Today I’m showcasing a strange free app someone showed me. Voice chatting, video chatting, and texting are all in the mainstream now with apps like Skype, iMessage, Facetime, and the thousands of other social apps. But what other communications mediums are still untapped? How about photo-chatting? Yes, I’m talking about communicating with photos.

A friend showed me an app the other day called Snapchat, and it has been occupying my time as I tried to understand it ever since. For years, to show emotion from afar, all we had was  emoticons, so Snapchat completely changes the equation.

An Example of Snapchat's photo-taking and sharing interface - a great photo on a great app
An Example of the app’s photo-taking and sharing interface

The concept is fascinating. How much can you visually communicate in a photo? The app finds other users you know through slick Facebook, email, and phone integration.

From there you start conversations by taking photos on your smartphone and sending them out. Your friends can then reply with their own photo. But here’s the twist. Your friend can only view the photo for the amount of time you set (usually 4-8 seconds) which brings a whole bunch more of fun into the equation. After sending and receiving a few messages, I’ve found that flat visual communication in a few seconds is a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge.

If you’re looking for a way to communicate quickly with your friends this isn’t it, but if you want to have a good time chatting in an interesting way, this is your app. It’s like a human “Draw Something”. So check out Snapchat for free in the app store.

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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