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Snapchat now sees more than 350 million pictures sent every day through its app. Though its quick rise in popularity is no doubt founded in sexting, co-founder Evan Spiegel wants you to think twice before taking off your clothes during your next snap.
"We have to remind people that Snapchat is not a great way to share photos that you want to keep safe, secret or highly secure," Spiegel told a crowd of about 300 while on stage at Disrupt SF, Techcrunch's annual tech conference in San Francisco, Calif., going on from Sept. 9 to 11. Disrupt showcases hundreds of up and coming startups that compete for funding and attention, and a few are selected to make 6-minute presentations that are judged by a panel made up of personalities from the tech industry. The conference is also featuring big-name speakers from the industry, like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and Spiegel.
So, why isn't Snapchat the best way to
It turns out that people with a lot of money and time can hack into it, or whatever, to betray your trust.
send your secret pictures? "The recipient can always take a screenshot," Spiegel continued while his voice turned slightly shaky. "It turns out that people with a lot of money and time can hack into it, or whatever, to betray your trust."
Though, with the amount of sites, Tumblrs blogs and Twitter profiles devoted to collecting and spreading leaked Snapchat photos, it might not take that much money, or even that much time.
"My message is that we can't prevent people who are financially motivated, with enough time, and really want to betray your trust, we probably can't prevent that. So again, it's not a great way to send inappropriate photos."
Spiegel also talked about Facebook and its now virtually forgotten "Poke" app, which, for the most part, was a rip-off of Snapchat. Surprisingly, he said Facebook treading into their ground was actually a good thing. “It’s certainly scary when a giant enters your space and you're a small company like us," Spiegel said. Because Poke didn't pick up steam or find a loyal following, Spiegel said it was a sign that Snapchat users are special. "We now talk about it as the greatest Christmas present we ever had."
And no, though Zuck and Spiegel know each other, they don't snap each other.
Right now Snapchat is in hot water thanks to Reggie Brown, who claims to be a third co-founder, who actually came up with the idea for disappearing messages. Unfortunately for Spiegel, he sent a message in 2011 to Brown where he alludes to him coming up with the idea, and actually deserving credit for it—which very well may bite him in the ass now. When asked on stage whether he wishes Snapchat was around back then when he sent that message, laughs rose up from the audience. Spiegel then gave a long, drawn out answer that deflected the question, where he described other auto-deleting apps that inspired Snapchat, like ones someone would use to "cheat on your wife... or something like that."
"We really though there was an opportunity to do something around self-expression," he said. "It's interesting to see that idea explored in many different ways in the space, and um, I feel fortunate, that uh, that Reggie shared that desire with me, um..." Spiegel said, before awkwardly laughing.