15th October 2013
Pictures on a popular photo sharing app whose unique feature is that they 'disappear' after a few seconds, can now be saved with the use of a newly-released app. This highlights the potential dangers of posting certain images on social networking and photo-sharing sites.
Snapchat – available for download on Android and Apple devices – has achieved much of its following as it allows people to share pictures, safe in the knowledge they would 'self-destruct' after being viewed, affording a degree of safety.
A new app called Snaphack, however, bypasses the system and enables those receiving the images to view them indefinitely, forward them and upload them on social media sites.
At the time of writing, Snapchat was not available for comment, but its terms of service forbid development of "any third-party applications that interact with user content or the services without our prior written consent".
Snaphack, currently available only for iOS devices via the App Store, has been developed by UK-based Darren Jones to prove the vulnerabilities present in Snapchat. Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Snapchat has not been in touch and I imagine it's only a matter of time until they request that my app is removed. But my app just proves and informs people that these apps exist and people need to be careful."
In August, another app called Snap Save was released, but the sender was informed that the image had been saved. This is not the case with the new app. Snapchat has also been crictised as it is possible to merely take a screen shot of the photo before it disappears, or to photograph the screen with another camera device.
Snapchat has gained a reputation as a platform for 'sexting', due to the fact that images posted on it supposedly disappeared.