So SnapChat’s integrity has been compromised.
Raj Vir, described by Techcrunch as “a college student, hacker and web designer” discovered that you could save photos sent to you on SnapChat, a mobile communication device favored by young people for its ephemeral format that works well with sending nude photos and sexting.
Mr. Vir just shot to the top of my sh*t list.
SnapChat normally prevents screen grabs from being taken, likely because the company fully intends for their product to be the premiere app for sexting and the sending of salacious photography. But Vir discovered that if you do a screen grab (done on an iPhone by clicking the menu button and the power button simultaneously), and then pressing the menu button again while the image is still on the screen, it confuses the app and overrides the photoblocker. Then the image will automatically be saved to your smartphone’s photo archive.
Now initially this seems like a good thing if you are a pervert, but as it is with all things, you’ve got to think long term. People willing to send you a picture of their private parts because they know you can’t keep the photo, will be a lot less likely to send you “nakey photos” if there is a risk they might get out on the internet. For those of you keeping track, this is bad.
While the makers of the SnapChat app can likely correct this programming flaw without too much issue, it should be noted that the Poke, Facebook’s entry in the impermanent message competition, never had this problem at all. So maybe if you’re going to drop your trousers in the near future, better go with a Poke.