November 9, 2014
Today’s Internet users are getting more and more interested in their privacy and the right to retain it. But why is that? Surely those privacy-related scandals like the whole NSA and Edward Snowden situation play a very important role in this, but there must be other aspects behind this, which can maybe be explained by analyzing the Snapchat model. Snapchat is a mobile app designed for media sharing through private messaging.
There are tons of apps that seem similar to Snapchat, but it has a catch that makes it quite unique. Each “snap”, or photo or video sent, is hidden, not only from the recipient’s device but also from the Snapchat servers after the time set by the sender (which ranges from one to ten seconds). This app hosts over 700 million snaps being sent each day, and the company was valued at $10 billion last August.
With this in mind, it is fair to say that users like to keep track of their content and, if possible, to make it disappear – something that does not happen on social networks like Facebook. And that is what sets it apart. Users do like their privacy, so there is a growing demand for secure messaging apps as well. (What happens when Snapchat users decide they want to save their snaps on a third-party app? Ask 4chan.)
TextSecure Private Messenger is probably one of the most famous apps in this segment, even though it is only available for Android. It is one of the most used messaging apps, and one with the best evaluations by users. Wiper is another solid solution, available both for Android and iOS, albeit more complete given that it also features private calling, in addition to the expected private messaging. It has a “Wipe” button that allows for messages to be easily deleted for good, and an innovative private YouTube search functionality, which gives users the ability to search the popular video website with full anonymity.
No one likes to have people snooping around on their personal information, let alone the content they only want to share with a specific recipient. This is the main reason why private messaging mobile apps are becoming so increasingly popular, and privacy will be a pressing issue in the future of technology. Privacy should be a right, not a benefit.
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