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Snapchat is a video messaging application created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, then Stanford University students. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of September 2015, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which Snapchat claims they will be deleted from the company’s servers. According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app’s users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day. Apparently, Snapchat now charges for replay of snap chats. Although Snapchat built its sizable base on a simple premise: Watch a short video once, and it’s gone forever. Now, it’s hoping to help sustain its business by heading the opposite direction. Pay a buck, and you’ll get a second chance to watch three snaps. Snapchat launched its first in-app purchases, offering users the chance to buy the ability to replay already-seen pictures and videos. The new feature, although only available in the US for the time being, offers “replays” in packs of three for $0.99. Without them, users can only view any given picture or video once, and get one additional replay for free each day. In its statement, the creators of Snapchat stated that: “We’ve provided one replay per Snapchatter per day, sometimes frustrating the millions of Snapchatters who receive many daily Snaps deserving of a replay. But then we realized ‘a replay is like a compliment!’ So why stop at just one?” Alongside the introduction of extra replays for a fee, the new update also introduces “lenses”. Using facial recognition technology, Snapchat is able to alter the user’s face in real-time, with frankly terrifying results. Seven lenses are included in this first batch, and while Snapchat doesn’t say as much, it seems likely that the firm will be experimenting with in-app purchases to offer more variety in the future.  

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This article was first published on 18th September 2015

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