iPhone app makes 'sexting' easier

Snapchat leaves almost no trace of photos

ORLANDO, Fla. - A new iPhone application known as Snapchat is gaining popularity with teens because of its exclusive features that can help them hide "sexting" conversations.

According to Snapchat, over 110 million images have been sent through the app since June. It's number one user demographic is made up of high school students.

Snapchat's official Apple App Store rating warns that it may contain "mature themes" with "sexual content or nudity."

The app touts itself as offering "real-time" picture chatting and promises to be "the fastest way to share a moment with friends."

All of the teenagers who spoke with Local 6 about the app knew it existed and that they should not use it.

Here's how Snapchat works: instead of snapping a picture through your iPhone's camera, you use the app. That way, the pictures are never stored on your phone or in your camera roll.

Next, users elect how long their friends can view it, which can be as long as ten seconds, before hitting 'send.'

Danielle Rucci, 16, said she isn't surprised that kids could Snapchat for 'sexting.' She said any parent should be concerned if their child has the app on their iPhone.

"If you give kids a program and they have 10 seconds, it's kind of obvious that they're going to be doing things they're not allowed [to do]," said Rucci.

The app promises images will disappear after they are viewed, but here's the catch: People who receive the photo can still take a screenshot of the image and view it, save it or share it for as long as they choose.

"I mean they just tell you, 'Oh, 3 seconds, you can't save it.' People just don't really think, I guess," said 16-year-old Lee Ann Ruffier.

Right now, the app is only available on iPhones, but the Snapchat founders say they are working hard to develop an app for Android phones too.


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