Larry Magid: Snapchat Updates Disappearing Photo Act

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Snapchat has released a new update, which virtually disables one of the features that made the app popular— the quickly disappearing picture.

When the app launched, when you’d take a picture it would disappear within 10 seconds. It was always possible to counter that by taking a screen shot or even using another phone or camera to take a picture of that.

Now they’re acknowledging those issues, in a sense, by making it easier to save the images by swiping on a person’s name and to actually save the discussion you had with that person.

Snapchat Updates Disappearing Photo Act

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By default the photo still disappears and is still more ephemeral than Facebook or Twitter, where the pictures stick around forever. Anyone under the assumption that you can go on Snapchat and post anything and face no consequences should be forewarned that’s not the case.

Many in the tech world speculate what kind of future the app has and whether or not they’ll try to expand their product or allow a buyout. From what I understand they did turn down a very generous offer from Facebook.

They have to diversify if they really want to stick around. Their features could easily be built into any service. Instagram, for instance could easily do what Snapchat does.

Meanwhile, Snapchat is adding a video-conferencing feature, text messaging and chatting, but I think they could have kept the quickly disappearing photo feature as an option, but perhaps they decided that doesn’t work with the new scheme they’re creating.

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