Snapchat: new app attracts attention

November 8, 2012 6:00 AMComments Off

Apple products have led quite the legacy for addicting games: Angry Birds, Temple Run, Tiny Tower and Words with Friends to name a few.  But the latest craze is an interactive picture-sharing app called “Snapchat.”

Using the built-in camera on an iPhone, the app takes a picture and sends it to another Snapchat user. It is only for a specific amount of time: three to 10 seconds, after which it is lost and never seen again.  While there are the occasional practical purposes, the most common functionality of this new step-up from text messaging is the ability to send terribly ugly pictures to a friend and know they’ll never be used as blackmail.

First-year Sam Hoyt loves to Snap his friends, “ . . . because you can express so much more with a picture than you can with a text.  As they say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’”

But why is this app better than the standard picture messaging that already comes with an iPhone? The functionality.  It takes approximately three clicks to take a picture, set the time limit and send it to a friend.  Apple people are all about streamlined processes, and this app has it down to a tee.

“It’s so simple and fun,” said first-year Greta Gillen.

Gillen uses the app primarily to keep in contact with her younger sister in Minnesota.

“I like being able to see her every day.  It’s not just words in a text, — it’s an actual face and an actual person,” Gillen said.

Almost like a mini-version of a Skype conversation, Snapchat has made it easier to visually communicate with people across the country.

A high school senior in Wisconsin, Elaina Porcaro used it to stay in touch as her friends headed off to college.

“It’s a way to stay in contact without having to spend a lot of time or have a big commitment.  I can just send a picture whenever I feel like it,” Porcaro said.

But what about those people that don’t have iPhones? For the time being Android users have been unable to experience the addicting qualities of Snapchat, but a new release is about to change all of that.

Android engineers spent weeks cultivating their own version of Snapchat to release to the Android market.

First-year Kelsey Rooney, a faithful Droid user, is excited about the development.

“Absolutely, I’m excited. All of my friends with iPhones use it, and now I can finally join the clan,” Rooney said.

While peer pressure may be the only thing pushing the app to its addicting heights, it is definitely working.

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