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November 20, 2012 05:23 PM

Snap Chat Popular With Teenagers

Sioux Falls, SD

A smartphone application now lets you take back your photo messages. Snap chat is just like texting a photo, but there's a catch: you control how long your recipient can see the message before it goes away forever.

“You have to choose how many seconds you want them to see it; one to 10 seconds depending on how long the message is or how long you want them to see it in pictures,” teen Haley Maxwell said.

The photos go away once you view them. That disappearing act and the novelty it brings have made the application extremely popular. Sioux Falls teens say it's caught on this fall.

“I walk down the halls. You see people making funny faces on their phones and think, 'That's not normal.' Now it is!” teen Alex Shields said.

Shields and Maxwell say they now use Snap chat more than they text. They even keep in contact with some teachers that way.

The free app has more than a million installs in the Google Play store alone. iTunes rates it for teens over 12 and gives it a fairly high rating as well. That means millions of smartphone users are snapping away day after day.

“They get it and you have to press here how long they want to see it. Then it just goes away forever,” Maxwell said.

But what good is a message that virtually self-destructs? We talked with an expert who says while it can be all in good fun, texting without consequence has its own pitfalls too. 

  • Business
  • Technology
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