Social Media 101: Snapchat


UPDATED: Friday May 16, 2014 11:59 AM

Snapchat is an app that allows you to send photos and videos that are supposed to disappear forever after they're viewed. But the Federal Trade Commission just settled with Snapchat, saying the company deceived users.

What you send via Shapchat may not vanish after all.

Once you download Snapchat, you'll have to create a username and password

and birthdate. You must be 13.

Put in your phone number and Snapchat will let you know which friends and contacts already use the app. Then it's time to post a pic.

Open the app, tap on the camera icon and you can take a picture or record a video. You can also add captions, even draw pictures on a photo. There are also filters and other features.

Then you determine how long you want the picture to last (between 1 and 10 seconds.) Then just hit send.

To see if your friend viewed the photo, swipe to the right to see the status. If the shape next to the name is white, they've seen it. If not, it's there waiting for them. To view a message from a friend, press and hold it your feed and you can see it until it disappears.

There's really just one setting on who can send you snaps. Do you want everyone to be able to snap you or just friends?

You can delete people and block them if things get out of control.

Snapchat doesn't allow users to save photos but some smartphones will let recipients take a screen capture. When that happens, you're supposed to receive a notification from Shapchat that the photo was saved.

And there's an app that lets recipients save Snapchats and not notify you. So it's possible that a photo you expected to self-destruct, could live on and on and on.

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