Snapchat is an app for both the Apple and Android devices, where the user is able to take a photo or video and send it to their friends for a restricted time limit of 10 seconds before it erases itself from the recipient’s device. Last November, the app’s developers released an update that allows recipients to view the sent image or video material multiple times within a 24-hour period.
“This update completely undermines the concept of Snapchat,” Jillian McKellips, sophomore in Christian ministry at Manhattan Christian College, said. “The whole idea of Snapchat is to send meaningless pictures to your friends. If the goal was to share pictures, then people would be texting the pictures and videos to their friends or posting them on Facebook.”
Joseph Langr, sophomore in electrical engineering, said he has never used the features to re-open the photos.
“It takes away purpose of the application as a whole,” Langr said. “It also makes screenshots a lot easier, allowing people to spread pictures more easily.”
Snapchat, on its most basic level, allows its users to share a photo or video with their friends without the fear of embarrassment that could be caused if the material was permanently documented. By increasing the amount of times an image or video can be accessed, users may or may not run the risk of losing control of their material, depending on whether or not the recipient of the Snapchat decides to screenshot the photo.
“Some of the new features are nice to have, but they are definitely not a core value of the app,” Langr said.
Not everyone, however, views the new update negatively. Micah Daniels, freshman in computer science, said he thinks that being able to review the material multiple times will make it easier for users to share more important images with others.
“The new update does not affect the purpose of Snapchat,” Daniels said. “But rather it allows people to express themselves to each other slightly more. The update remains true to the concept of Snapchat but enhances the features of the app.”
The new update for Snapchat also includes new fonts for the typed messages that can be sent over the images.
“I use the (Snapchat Stories) feature quite a bit,” Daniels said. “The other features I don’t generally bother with all that much. They personally don’t interest me, but I have seen them used before, and they are pretty cool.”
Marian Coeburn, freshman in Christian ministry at Manhattan Christian College, said she thoroughly enjoys the added features of Snapchat; saying they improve what the app has to offer its users.
“The new update broadens Snapchat’s horizons, allowing people to be more creative with their snaps, making them more personable,” Coeburn said.
She said the different filters help her to better convey different moods she is in, and by changing the text she is able to control the emphasis of her messages.
“I think that by using Snapchat instead of standard text messaging, I am able to stay better connected with my friends and family,” Coeburn said. “I am able to send them photos and now videos of my daily life, and I can have a message attached if I choose to. By sending a Snapchat, it makes it more special. I would much rather receive a snap as opposed to a text message.”