The paradox of Snapchat is that the content lasts seconds but the screenshots lasts forever. In other words, Snapchat thrives off the misconception of private-sharing. While the ease of ugly content sharing makes the platform fun, the content all of a sudden poses a risk when it can be shared out publicly to the rest of the web. Congressman Weiner would’ve run into the same trap on Snapchat as he did on Twitter.
Naturally, Snapchat promotes the privacy portion to its users and the Stories feature to brands which tend to share everything publicly anyway. This way Snapchat can hook users as the anti-Instagram while scaling its community through brand partnerships all at the same time.
Snapchat is private in theory but not in practice. Snapchat downloads and saves content just like the NSA does, compiling data so that one day advertisers can target its users. Yet, the users don’t seem to care about this mirage of privacy as along as it keeps them away from Mom and Dad and the permanence of shared content as on Facebook. The spontaneity of snapping an unedited life makes the Snapchat social network unique but leaves its users vulnerable. Anonymity sounds good right about now.