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February 25 2014

February 24 2014

February 20 2014

February 12 2014

Snapchat Challenge: Nothing Says 'I Love You' Like a 10-Second Snap

Skip the flowers. Send us your snaps

With Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day, for all you solo riders out there) just around the corner, we’re back this week with another Mashable Snapchat Challenge

E-cards are so 2000, so we want you to send us your Valentine’s Day greeting via Snapchat. Get down with your sensitive side for a chance to be featured on Mashable. If we’re feeling the love, we’ll showcase your snap in our roundup of cupid-approved winners

How to Enter the Challenge

  • If you haven’t already, add "mashable" on Snapchat

  • Send us your snap by Friday, Feb. 14 at 9 a.m. ET

  • Be sure to select 10 seconds for your snap, as we’ll need time to absorb your snapsterpiece Read more...

More about Social Media, Valentine S Day, Apps Software, Work Play, and Snapchat

February 06 2014

How to Add Mashable on Snapchat

Late to the party? Not quite sure what all of the hoopla is about? Download the Snapchat app, and follow these simple steps to add Mashable as a snap friend.

Once you've created an account, simply do the following:

1. Tap the icon on the lower right-hand corner of the screen

1 small snap

2. Tap the icon on the upper right-hand corner to add friends

2 small snap

3. Type 'Mashable' into the search bar

3 small snap copy

4. Tap the 'Add Mashable' box so that it turns green

4 small snap copy

And voilà!

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...

More about Social Media, How To, Apps Software, and Snapchat

February 02 2014

Kooky Snapchat Artist Shares His Adventures 10 Seconds at a Time

While it's not the most conventional form of artistic expression, Snapchat has enabled a whole new wave of artists to share their creative works for 10 seconds

Meet Shaun McBride. He's a sales rep for snowboarding companies, and he's all about Snapchat. Since he started snapping last year, McBride has made a mark on the Snapchat community with his imaginative photos and impressive doodlesMashable chatted with McBride to learn more about his love of Snapchat, and how it has shaped his day-to-day life

Featured Snap Artist

Mashable: How did you get into Snapchat?

More about Art, Social Media, Travel Leisure, Work Play, and Snapchat

January 24 2014

Show Off Your Doodles for Our Snapchat Challenge

It’s time to flex those fingers, because we want to see your best Snapchat doodles. The first-ever Mashable Snapchat Challenge is here.

Bored at work, stuck in line, tired of re-watching the Game of Thrones trailer? Get those creative juices flowing and tap into your inner snap artist. Send us a snap with a one-of-a-kind doodle for a chance to be featured on Mashable. We’ll be looking out for snap-savvy contenders with original ideas, so feel free to use Snapchat’s filters, special text and "secret" colors.

Start with a simple sketch, experiment with colors, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, hit us with some witty wordplay Read more...

More about Drawing, Social Media, Apps Software, Snapchat, and Mashable Snapchat Challenge
Hacker Breaks Snapchat's New Security Feature in 30 Minutes

Another hacker has publicly bested Snapchat's security features.

A blog post published Wednesday shows how developer Steven Hickson was able to bypass Snapchat's most recent security feature, which attempts to protect the service against bot accounts

The feature was included in Snapchat's most recent app update, and requires new users to identify pictures that contain the company's ghost logo out of a collection of images

The extra step was meant to work as a human verification system so that malicious software could not create new accounts automatically. But Hickson claims he was able to write a program to identify the ghost images automatically — in around 30 minutes. Read more...

More about Security, Hack, Social Media, Apps Software, and Snapchat

January 23 2014

Want to Break Into the Ad Business? Try Snapchat

Got a great idea for an ad campaign? Norwegian ad agency DDB Oslo believes if the concept is really good you can sum it up in 10 seconds or less, over Snapchat.

The agency is seeking new talent with The Snapchat Pitch. Just send your idea to DDB Oslo on Snapchat in any form you want — video, drawing, song. The creative department at the agency promises it will review every submission. If DDB Oslo likes your pitch, it will fly you to Oslo. (Bring a coat, the agency warns, it's cold there this time of year.)

The winners will be announced on April 3

Snapchat won't replace the resume anytime soon, but it has a draw for some businesses seeking creative talent. Last fall, social media marketing agency Likeable Media began giving applicants to chance to follow up via Snapchat. One candidate sent a picture of himself at a local restaurant in his hometown in Michigan, standing under its sign, whose letters had been arranged to spell out "Likeable Hire Me." Read more...

More about Advertising, Business, Jobs, and Snapchat

January 21 2014

Snapped Lets You View and Send Snapchats on Your Mac

Good news, Mac users: You can now Snapchat on your Mac with a new unofficial Snapchat client called Snapped.

Snapped is currently in beta, and brings much of the Snapchat experience to desktop. You can log in to your Snapchat account, send photos to your friends and view images they send you — all without having to grab your phone.

The app is the product of ThinkDev, a small development shop run by two University of California, San Diego students. It runs on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and will eventually be available in the App Store.

To use Snapped, log in to Snapchat using your username and password. Choose the desired amount of time for your snap, select the recipients and you're done. By default, Snapped uses your Mac's front-facing camera to take photos, but you can also upload an image from your hard drive Read more...

More about Desktop, Desktop Client, Tech, Apps Software, and Snapchat

January 15 2014

Zuckerberg on Snapchat: It's a 'Super Interesting Privacy Phenomenon'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised Snapchat for creating a new niche for social media communication, calling it a "super interesting privacy phenomenon."

Zuckerberg made the remarks during an interview with Stanford University President John Hennessy Tuesday night at the school's Palo Alto, Calif., campus. The talk, which was covered in TechCrunch was wide-ranging and touched on a few subjects, including NSA surveillance and the lack of VC funding for multi-billion-dollar public projects

When the discussion turned to Snapchat — a company that Facebook reportedly offered to buy for $3 billion last year — Zuckerberg offered a historical perspective, noting that instant messaging offered a way to communicate between groups and blogs provided a way to share publicly. However, before Facebook, there was nothing in between Read more...

More about Facebook, Business, Startups, Snapchat, and Mark Zuckerbeg

January 14 2014

Snapchat Spam Has Gone Too Far

I've received one too many pictures of boobs. 

No, I’m not joking. This is a serious problem, and anyone who has used the ephemeral messaging service Snapchat can surely commiserate with me.

On Sunday, I received a snap and contact request from “arabel414,” who, in text overlaid on her bosom, told me to check out a website allegedly containing leaked Snapchats of a similar nature. This morning I received the same snap. 

This has happened a number of times, and while it’s usually a different username, the snap is almost always identical. But the Snapchat spam doesn't stop there. While most of the spam snaps I receive are of a pornographic nature, I've also begun receiving ads for weight loss pills and other unsavory products. 

Targeted Pr0n

I've received this snap four times since Friday. The black bars have been added for decency. I've received this snap four times since Friday. The black bars have been added for decency.

Until recently, Snapchat has had an allure of privacy; not only is the service built on the idea that your private moments will disappear, but it’s also exclusively a messaging service, meaning snaps sent and received only go to a certain number of people before they evaporate. 

But when Snapchat was hit with a privacy breach due to a flaw in the app's API that exposed the Finds Friends feature, an anonymous hacker leaked millions of Snapchat phone numbers and the security of the application came under fire.

Spam has seemingly increased on Snapchat since its big hack. In the past three days, I have received seven spammy snaps, four consisting of topless women, one featuring diet pills, one advertising male enhancement, and one selling fake Rolexes.

In response to the deluge of complaints fired at Snapchat, the company released a statement that said the team is working on resolving the issue, and dismissed the notion that it was in any way related to the Find Friends hack. 

While we expect to minimize spam, it is the consequence of a quickly growing service. To help prevent spam from entering your feed, you can adjust your settings to determine who can send you Snaps. We recommend “Only My Friends” :)

Time To Get Serious About Spam

Snapchat, like many other social messaging services, requires people to have usernames to interact with one another; although you can sync your mobile number to Snapchat’s application, photos and videos are sent directly to usernames. Spammers can then crawl different databases for Snapchat usernames to target with indecent proposals—just search Twitter for “add me on Snapchat” to see how easy it is to find usernames to contact.

It’s possible to tailor your settings to improve your privacy on Snapchat, but the setting “Who can send me snaps” is often set to “Everyone.” 

Twitter has battled similar spam problems. Since Twitter is an open social network where users publicly share thoughts, links, pictures and video in 140 characters or less, public accounts can become prime targets for spammers that contact users via @-replies or direct messages. You can generally tell by the messenger’s timeline and profile that it is a spambot, thus making it easy to avoid. 

On Twitter, users can easily report spam accounts and Twitter will block those users from following or replying to you. But Snapchat lacks these features, which makes it extremely problematic.

On Snapchat, you can't report users as spam, and it is very difficult to block someone using the service. You first have to add them as a friend, and then go to “My Friends” page and edit their settings

All those spammers that added me? I have to first add them back, and then block them. This is not the way to deal with spam. 

Snapchat has faced criticism in the past for not immediately taking action to protect users and improve the application. In fact, prior to its recent hack, Snapchat was alerted to the potential security breach back in August and did nothing to improve security; then, when anonymous hackers took advantage of that breach, Snapchat failed to apologize for its oversight until after it was heavily scrutinized by the public.

Snapchat once reportedly turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook. At the time, the move seemed juvenile, but many critics gave the messaging startup the benefit of the doubt. However, if the company led by 23-year-old Evan Spiegel wants to be taken seriously, it needs to become a more sophisticated company and deal with the issues in a way that goes beyond publishing blog posts with emoticons.

Image via Yashna13 on Flickr.

Tags: Snapchat

January 13 2014

Snapchat Apologizes Again, This Time for Spam

Snapchat is getting better at apologizing

Just days after the messaging service finally apologized to users for a massive security breach, Snapchat apologized again, this time for complaints about excessive spam

Hundreds — if not thousands — of users took to Twitter over the weekend to complain about being bombarded with spam chats (or "snaps") following the security breach. More than a few assumed that the breach was the cause ofthe spam, but Snapchat claims that is not the case.

"We’ve heard some complaints over the weekend about an increase in Snap Spam on our service," the company wrote in a blog post Monday. "We want to apologize for any unwanted Snaps and let you know our team is working on resolving the issue. As far as we know, this is unrelated to the Find Friends issue we experienced over the holidays." Read more...

More about Spam, Business, Apps Software, and Snapchat

January 10 2014

Brands Are Coming to Snapchat. Will Users Disappear?

The first snap was more of a bang: a panda with a gun to its head and a gift-wrapped box to the right. The background was black with dozens of crudely-drawn colorful lines.

That image might sound confusing or even frightening, but not to Snapchat users following the newly created account for HBO's hit show Girls. The three emoticons featured in its first post last week — a panda, pistol and package — are a throwback to a bizarre text message sent by one of the characters in the show's second season. The Girls account has since posted pictures teasing the season premiere and sharing snippets from the cast on the red carpet. Read more...

More about Marketing, Business, Apps Software, and Snapchat

January 09 2014

Snapchat Sort Of Apologizes, Updates Find Friends Feature

In response to a massive security breach that leaked over four million Snapchat phone numbers, the company on Thursday released an update that allows users of its mobile app to opt-out of the Find Friends feature, which links your phone number to your Snapchat username.

"Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API," Snapchat said in a blog post. "We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support."

Snapchat was alerted to the potential hack in August and again in December, but refused to respond to the concerns or update the application to deter potential database breaches. After an anonymous hacker published the phone numbers of millions of users earlier this month, Snapchat responded—without an apology—by saying the company would fix the Find Friends feature that was allegedly optional in the first place. 

Snapchat, led by 23-year-old founder Evan Spiegel, caught some flack for its nonchalant response and lack of apology. Thursday's blog post includes the words "we are sorry," but doesn't say the application has taken any further security measures beyond updating the Find Friends feature. 

The company also says it is making improvements to the service to prevent future attempts to abuse its API. It's about time.

Image via RyanNagelmann on Flickr

Tags: Snapchat
Snapchat Finally Apologizes for Security Breach, Releases Fix

Snapchat released an update to its app on Thursday in response to a security breach that exposed millions of user accounts just before the new year

The update gives users the ability to opt out of having their phone numbers linked to their user names as part of the Find Friends feature. In the blog post announcing the update, the company also finally apologized to users for the episode

"Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API," the company wrote in the blog post. "We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support." Read more...

More about Apps, Business, Snapchat, and Evan Spiegel

January 08 2014

Do Disappearing Messages Make Sense for Professionals?

Snapchat has helped popularize the concept of disappearing messages among teens and twenty-somethings for personal use. Now, a growing number of startups are testing whether this concept can — and should — catch on in the workplace.

On Wednesday, a new startup called Confide released a free iPhone app of the same name, which lets professionals send encrypted messages that automatically disappear so users can have "off-the-record" conversations. The startup was founded by two prominent tech execs — Jon Brod, former CEO of AOL's Patch unit and Yext co-founder Howard Lerman — after they had essentially engaged in a game of professional phone tag a few months ago. Read more...

More about Startups, Business, and Snapchat

January 06 2014

Snapchat Hires Washington Lobbying Firm

Snapchat is going to Washington

The photo sharing social network has hired lobbying firm Heather Podesta + Partners to represent it and lobby policymakers in D.C., according to a disclosure form first spotted by The Hill.

The form says that the "specific lobbying issues" will be "educating policymakers regarding the application's operation and practices," but doesn't provide a lot more details. Neither Snapchat nor Heather Podesta + Partners responded to Mashable's request for comment.

It's unclear if Snapchat's hiring the of lobbying firm is related to the serious security breach it suffered last week. Experts think the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might investigate the incident Read more...

More about Lobbying, Us World, Politics, Us, and Snapchat
Snapchat CEO Reveals Why He Rejected Facebook's $3 Billion Offer

Snapchat shocked much of the tech community late last year when a report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that it had turned down a $3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook. Now, Snapchat's CEO has offered an explanation for why he hasn't sold the company yet.

“There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this,” Evan Spiegel told Forbes for a cover story profiling the cofounder and CEO, which was published online Monday. “I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.”

That might sound like a standard enough talking point for a founder until you consider just how much the "short-term gain" actually wasForbes calculates that Spiegel and his cofounder Bobby Murphy would each have received $750 million from the Facebook offer. Read more...

More about Facebook, Business, Snapchat, and Evan Spiegel

January 03 2014

Snapchat CEO Angry Over Hack, But Still Not Apologizing

For Evan Spiegel, the hardest words to say seem to be, "I'm sorry."

Snapchat's CEO appeared on NBC's Today on Friday in a pre-taped interview with Carson Daly to discuss the New Year's Eve security breach, which resulted in 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers leaking online. Spiegel was visibly frustrated by the hack — Daly described him as "outraged" — but the CEO still did not offer an apology to users.

"Technology businesses in general are susceptible to hacking," Spiegel said in the interview. "That's why you have to work really, really, really hard with law enforcement, with security experts, internal and external groups, to make sure you're paying attention and addressing security concerns." Read more...

More about Business, Apps Software, Snapchat, and Evan Spiegel
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