A “Snap” refers to a photo or video message sent through the app. Snaps are known for their temporary nature; once viewed, they disappear after a few seconds unless saved as a “screenshot” by the recipient, which the sender is notified of. Here are some key points about Snaps:
- Ephemerality: Snaps are designed to be short-lived. Once opened, they are available for viewing for up to 10 seconds (or as set by the sender), after which they disappear.
- Customization: Before sending, users can customize their Snaps with text, doodles, filters, stickers, and lenses (AR effects).
- Stories: Users can add Snaps to their “Story,” which is a compilation of Snaps that last 24 hours. After this period, the Snaps in a Story disappear.
- Chat: Apart from sending Snaps, users can also chat directly with others, but these messages also disappear after being viewed.
- Notifications: Snapchat notifies the sender if the recipient takes a screenshot of the Snap or replays it.
The concept of the “Snap” and its ephemerality revolutionized social media when Snapchat was introduced, emphasizing spontaneous and genuine moments over curated and permanent content.