150 million messages are sent on Snapchat every day

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You know Snapchat, right? It’s the messaging service with pics that disappear moments after you’ve receive them. Well, apparently people are loving it. They’re presently sending about 150 million photos a day – up three times in the last four months – according to Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, who recently spoke at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference.

Instagram, perhaps Snapchat’s closest competitor, is officially way, way behind, with an estimated 40 million new pics uploaded each day. While it’s true that Instagram’s shots are designed to stay on the site (at least until they’re manually taken down), they’re down to a little more than a fifth of Snapchat’s activity, when last quarter they were about dead even.

This all comes in the wake of a $13.5 million funding bonanza for Snapchat, spearheaded by Benchmark Capital last February. So, Snapchat; you just won thirteen-and-a-half million dollars and smacked a social media titan across the eyes. What are you gonna do now?

Snapchat’s enemy: The screenshot

The idea of Snapchat is, true to its logo, downright spooky, and the notion that they can publicize their daily activity while simultaneously erasing all of it just sparks up all sorts of other questions. As we wrote last month: “[Snapchat is] an app that tells your kids they can do whatever they want because a smartphone – a tool which has proven to do plenty of suspect things with your data – promises not to save that picture.”

Look, we get it. You kids wanna sext, but sending a picture that self destructs doesn’t save you from the Internet’s virality. Even with the app’s tracker-blocking design, screen-capping is happening, a lot.

“Since young people are the driving force behind Snapchat… People under 18 may be swapping images that are legally classified as child pornography, and they may be doing it with less trepidation than they would if they were using SMS, since they assume the person they’re sending the photo to won’t screenshot their body,” our own Kate Knibbs wrote in December.

Snapchat lets you select how long you want your pic to appear for, but as far as screencaps are concerned, “Any time at all,” is already too long. 

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