Snapchat recently added the ability to send text only messages, along with persistent read receipts.


The “ephemeral” messaging app Snapchat has settled as of Thursday with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that its messages are not actually ephemeral. The FTC’s complaint alleged that there are a number of ways Snapchat messages can be saved, so the company’s claim that they “disappear forever” was disingenuous.

“There is value in the ephemeral… That’s because they are shared, enjoyed, but not saved,” stated the Snapchat blog in January of this year. Yet there are ways of saving snaps both within and without the app, including screenshots and opening messages in third-party apps. The FTC also faulted Snapchat for harvesting its users’ contact information from their address books without disclosing the activity.
As part of the settlement, Snapchat has to start a privacy program that will be independently monitored for 20 years, under which the company will be fined if it steps out of line. The deal is similar to the one the FTC struck with Facebook in August 2012.
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