Snapchat, WhatsApp and the rise of anti-social networking

Apparently, private messaging service WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook messaging as the goto mobile messaging platform.

I can understand why growing numbers of people are picking up on private messaging services like WhatsApp, SnapChat and so on – particularly young people.

These apps allow users to send each other messages, whether text, images or video, privately. It can be within groups, so there is a social element, but it’s also private in that this isn’t taking place in the open.

Snapchat is a particularly interesting example because of its key feature – that messages and media self destruct after a certain time period.

After all, young people are facing the possibility of having their every move for the rest of their lives documented publicly online, for everyone to see, including parents, future employers and so on. Having some of that stuff private, and wiped from the record, must be attractive.

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I agree, this is a fascinating new path for social communications. As a lawyer and legal info professional, this topic is especially interesting because of the implications it has in evidentiary matters related to lawsuits, contract negotiations, testator intent, etc. What happens when there is a claim that the important clause was on a disappearing medium? Can that be recovered/recalled in some way? With new technology comes new opportunities for jobs in cracking and hacking these systems.