Skip to main content

You can’t Snapchat Stephen Colbert, but you can watch his sassy interview with its creators

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 1.19.19 PMYou know you’ve made it when people are making fun of you. And if you make it to one of the grand jesters of social satire, that’s even better. The founders of Snapchat appeared on The Colbert Report this week, and Stephen, as per usual, was in fine form.

“I am down with all the social networking buzzword.biz,” Colbert said at the beginning of the interview with Snapchat creators Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy about their immensely popular photo-messaging app.

If for some reason you don’t know how Snapchat works, Murphy and Spiegel did a good job explaining it on the show: It’s an app for iPhone and Android that lets you send pictures to friends, but they disappear after a few seconds. The young app has weathered its fair share of controversy, from porn spam problems to accidentally inciting a massive booze dump at a college.

Surprisingly, when they talked to Colbert about the app, they explicitly mentioned that you can take screenshots of the photos – something that disrupts the illusion of impermanence associated with the pictures. Of course, the app alerts users if their photos get captured via screenshot, but you’d think they’d warn users against doing so, not publicize the possibility.

“Why do you have the option for the photos to disappear? What are the users of Snapchat ashamed of?” Colbert asked.

“I think the idea is to change the idea of what a photograph is and use it as a means of communication,” Murphy explained. “The disappearing aspect is an attempt to bring the service back to normal human communication, which is ephemeral and transient.”

But Colbert didn’t let the two founders get off without discussing the app’s potential for naughty-pic sending. “Is this a sexting app?” he asked, and repeated himself in case they didn’t hear. The founders said that, since you can take a screenshot, it’s not an ideal way to send X-rated shots. Colbert asked if there was a better way to send sexts, but Murphy and Spiegel had no answers.

The young founders came across as amiable and game, laughing off Colbert’s jabs: “Have you guys made a profit yet, or does that disappear after 10 seconds too?”

 The interview was mostly lighthearted, although Murphy said they’re looking for ways to monetize in the future, which could mean changes to Snapchat’s current format – will it go the way of Instagram and start playing around with ads? If so, hopefully they’ll disappear after 10 seconds and not clog up the clean interface.

Kate Knibbs
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kate Knibbs is a writer from Chicago. She is very happy that her borderline-unhealthy Internet habits are rewarded with a…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more