DGTL12002 – Week 2 Find the Snapchat in you…

User Interface and Customisation

Snapchat is a social networking site and is unique in that all photos, videos and instant messaging only last between 1 to 10 seconds, then disappear forever, making the app momentary, although individuals are able to take screenshots of snaps to save them in picture form. According to the snapchat website, as of May 2014, the app’s users were sending 700 million snaps a day (Snapchat 2016).

There is the option to type captions on the top of snaps, as well as use the special text feature to overlay the snap with an emoji and larger text. The ideal approach is to engage and educate the audience while having a little fun doing it.

Snapchat has a highly visual interface and the features that enable users to get creative with the images they share, and tailor them to specific locations or events, said eMarketer principal analyst, Cathy Boyle (eMarketer 2016).

The social networking site does not involve “profiles” in the same sense as other social media apps, however it is possible that friends are able to see the basic information on the friends list.

profile pic snapchat


Source: Constine, J 2016, Snapchat Makes adding people easier URLs, viewed 6 August 2016, https://techcrunch.com/2016/01/28/snapchat-share-username/

Snapchat profiles are basic and only contain the user’s display name, user name, Snapchat score and Snapchat selfie.

This app is colonising the internet with profile URLs that deeplink into its app and let users instantly follow someone. This makes it easy to add friends and other personalities so that they can fill their feed with content that keeps luring users back (Constine 2016).

One of the most prominent features in the push to have users interact with other users, referred to as friends within the platform (BestTheNews 2016). Similar to Facebook, this app refers to users as “friends” and encourages them to add and interact with these “friends” through the app.

Snapchat allows users to add friends by username, through the contact of a person’s mobile phone, by snapcode, by searching for people nearby and sharing usernames. There is even a “quick add” feature allowing user to add contact in their phone or friends users (BestTheNews 2016). Snapchat has injected the fun back into social sharing.

However, BestTheNews (2016) claims the social network is causing a very serious dilemma between privacy and the community’s need to know. The desire to share content from people’s lives with those “friends’ is greater than ever.


Source: BestTheNews 2016, Snapping Through Life: How Snapchat Changes Communication, viewed 6 August 2016, http://bestthenews.com/article/snapping-through-life-how-snapchat-changes-communication-thu-06092016-2325.html

Adding afriend

Source: BestTheNews 2016, Snapping Through Life: How Snapchat Changes Communication, viewed 6 August 2016, http://bestthenews.com/article/snapping-through-life-how-snapchat-changes-communication-thu-06092016-2325.html

Snapchat gives you an option to turn snaps into stories, which is basically a durable collection of videos, photos and filters. Brands can create one story, and later add new content to it. For instance, you can add one image at 12 pm, two images at 3 pm, at 12 pm you can show the blurred image of a new product, making it more visible as the hours go by (eMarkerters 2016).

Snapchat is so simple that it is confusing. It is a hit among teenagers, according to several research firms (eMarketers 2016). The main screen is the camera view and can be a somewhat daunting to navigate around.

Trustworthiness of the site

Social media editor and drone reporter, Sally French (p. 1 of 1, 2015) claims that in 2015, Snapchat released a new privacy policy that dramatically changes what the social network can do with the images users post.

According to the Snapchat’s website (French 2015):

“The Terms of Service state that users grant Snapchat a world-wide, perpetual, royalty-free and transferrable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods”.

The privacy statement also says that some tools on the app control who can and cannot see user’s contents, but does not clarify which ones. Although the snaps still automatically delete after being viewed, it is not explicitly stated in the Terms of Service (French 2015).

Snapchat reassured its’ users that personal privacy settings within the app could restrict the scope of that license, meaning that the private snaps are still safe.

Bogle (2015) claims the deletion of “snaps” allows users to fall into a false sense of safety, without thought of the consequences of their actions and that their information could be leaked. Privacy concerns with Snapchat are a major issue.

For a while, Snapchat promised user privacy, but the company could not keep that promise. In 2014, a security breach gave the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchat users to a group of hackers. The find friends feature, made it easier for hackers to enter the network, and gain information stored on user’s phone (Bogle 2015). “If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service, it is crucial that it keeps those promises”, says Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

With all social network sites there is a security risk, therefore users must be educated and made aware of the public and private information on many of the social media sites. Users must post pictures, videos and messages that the public are able to consume. They should reduce these issues by only posting information that are safe to be viewed by family, friends and colleagues.


Bogle, A 2015, Mashable Australia, Snapchat tells users it’s not storing their private snaps after privacy update, viewed 7 August 2016, http://mashable.com/2015/11/01/snapchat-privacy-policy-update/#l39HI3jcugqq

Constine, J 2016, Snapchat Makes Adding People Way Easier with Profile URLs, viewed 6 August 2016, https://techcrunch.com/2016/01/28/snapchat-share-username/

eMarketer 2016, Snapchat to Grow 27% This Year, Surpassing Rivals, viewed 06 August 2016, http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Snapchat-Grow-27-This-Year-Surpassing-Rivals/1014058#sthash.oss5NHDT.dpuf

French, S 2015, Marketwatch, Snapchat’s Privacy Policy, viewed 06 August 2016, http://www.marketwatch.com/topics/journalists/sally-french



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