Snapchat - 2012 Rising Stars of Mobile Development

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SnapchatName: Snapchat
Website: www.snapchat.com
Founded: 2011
Platform(s): Android, iOS
Noted for: Snapchat

Los Angeles-based Snapchat provides picture messaging for iOS and Android users. What makes the imaging app novel is that all photos sent through Snapchat have an expiration date. Users have up to 10 seconds to view the image, at which point it is deleted. The receiver can then send their own timed picture back to their friend. Users are notified if their friend takes a screenshot of a timed image; however, the app requires users to "hold" the image on the screen to view in, it in order to prevent users from taking screenshots of Snapchat pictures.

Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel told TechCrunch in October that iOS device users have shared over 1 billion snaps and are exchanging 20 million new photos each day or 231 per second, up from 25 images per second in May.

Snapchat could easily use the momentum from its solid base of users to branch into other photo-sharing apps, which are currently a hot market. Image-based social networking has taken off in the past year, with Facebook acquiring Instagram and more recently Twitter introducing photo filtering options. Snapchat capitalizes on this user interest, and users are less inhibited about sharing candid photos that will be deleted within 10 seconds. 

What's next: Snapchat expanded to Android in October, and plans to update its iOS version before the holiday season, said Spiegel, with additional enhancements slated for early next year.