Snapchat became a huge service based off of one simple slogan: Your pictures disappear. And with that, hundreds of thousands of sexts have been sent over the app, and thousands of those have been saved by recipients and leaked for all to see on the Internet.

The company built itself on this half-true gimmick, which has led users into a false sense of security. While Snapchat does give you a set amount of time to view a photo or video, there are many other apps and tactics (taking a picture of a picture) that people can use to save a Snap. So, the company can't really say those pictures disappear with a 100-percent guarantee. The Federal Trade Commission called out Snapchat on its "deceptive" advertising, and the company just struck a deal with the FTC that allows them to avoid getting fined.

In marketing the service, Snapchat has said that its messages "disappear forever." But in its complaint, the commission said the messages, often called snaps, can be saved in several ways. The commission said that users can save a message by using a third-party app, for example, or employ simple workarounds that allow users to take a screenshot of messages without detection.


Under the terms of the settlement, Snapchat will be prohibited from misrepresenting how it maintains the privacy and confidentially of user information. The company will also be required to start a wide-ranging privacy program that will be independently monitored for 20 years. Fines could ensue if the company does not comply with the agreement.

Check out the whole report below:

[via NY Times]