back to article Oh Snap! How intelligent people make themselves stupid for Snapchat

Perv-magnet app Snapchat is no more. It has renamed itself Snap! as it wants to be a respectable media tech company. Specifically, it says “a camera company”. Here’s perhaps the only interesting thing about Snapchat. Nobody really understands what the point of it is, and maybe Snapchat doesn’t either. But it’s exploited this …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've read the article

    And I still have no idea what snapchat is other than not a fish nor a door-opener which is a shame as it's lunchtime and fish would do just nicely right now.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: I've read the article

      From the article, it seems to be some form of camera "app". I think I have one on my phone already, so I'll pass.

  2. hplasm Silver badge


    It's the new *Bollocks*.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snap!

      Ironic considering I thought the whole point of Snapchat was that it let you send photographs of your bollocks (and similar parts) to other people under the deluded impression it would safely disappear and no-one would *ever* be able to copy and forward that photograph of you doing something obscene with a Coke bottle.

      And some alphabetti spaghetti.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Snap!

        Originally yes, but most stuff people post to Snapchat now is permanent. I don't know why the author has so much trouble explaining it. It is basically the same thing as Twitter, except instead of sharing 140 characters at a time, you share a picture with a one line caption, or a video that lasts a few seconds.

        Like Twitter, I suspect they are having trouble monetizing it because there isn't a good way to insert ads, which is probably why they are getting desperate with the re-branding to "Snap!" and coming out with Glasshole mark two.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Snap!

          The UI on the phone app is abominably poor, which is how the young'uns like it.

          I use it because a snapchat message will reach my daughter when all others fail (because they are ignored).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    With their new glasses, Snapholes will be even more obnoxious.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Snapholes

      With Google Glass, at least the Glassholes had to work a bit to get the video off their glasses and onto the internet. This will be integrated with the Snapchat app on your phone, and will allow uploading something seconds after it happens.

      Snapholes will definitely be more obnoxious, but I'm not sure there's much difference in someone walking around with cheap glasses that are lit up recording, and holding up their phone recording. Well except that being only $130, anti-Snaphole bullies won't feel too bad about ripping them off the Snaphole's head and stomping on them.

  4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    It's an app that lets you send short videos to your friends.

    How hard was that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately, no one can explain what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.

      Sure you can. It's a computer simulation in which you live, thinking it's reality.


  5. 's water music Silver badge

    the creepy part of Google Glass...

    ...was probably middle-aged nerds wearing them. Looking like a McDonalds' toy makes it easier to wear the snap sunglasses ironically. Or something.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: the creepy part of Google Glass...

      Since these would target the 15-22 year olds who are the primary users of Snapchat, so long as they are wearing them around others like them, it won't be too much of a problem. But I can see them being just as poorly accepted outside that group.

      Looking forward to reading articles on Snaphole etiquette next year!

  6. Rich 11 Silver badge

    “The more ‘social media experts’ I meet, the more I realise we’re just making it up”, he confessed.

    Promote this man.

  7. hfo1

    I tried

    Mark Suster, who I have a lot of time for, pushed it hard (e.g. so I installed it and tried to get my head around it but, no, it is still a mystery to me.

    1. Sporkinum

      Re: I tried

      Interesting explanation, but I don't get it. I don't use twitter for anything but an occasional bitch to a company as it seems to work better than emails or web forms that go directly to /dev/null. He acts like all gods chillin' use twitter since 2009, and that snapchat is the same. Guess I am too old since I started out with BBS s in the '80s.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snap - It's the vertical leaning app that runs on the horizontal level, it self defines a new definition of what an app is without confusing the user and appealing to investors because of it's forward thinking development in a contained user space. A true paradigm shift.

    You can also send dick pics on it.

  9. Oh Homer

    It's not rocket science

    Snapchat is SMS with photos.

    Hopefully that's concise enough for even the crispiest of oldies to understand (and I speak as one of them).

    1. c1ue

      Re: It's not rocket science

      You're close, but have it backwards.

      Its photos and videos that are sent SMS-style to all your friends. The quickest, dirtiest, easiest self-extollation or other-condemnation possible for a generation which is too lazy to use spoken words, which confuses quantity for quality in communications, and which believes the photo or the video is more real than the words which are too slow and difficult to compose (and more easily mocked).

      It is the logical extrapolation of the abbreviations used in SMS by teenagers.

      That's it.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: It's not rocket science

        It's now about Stories. Stories are the thing on Snapchat.

      2. Gartal

        Re: It's not rocket science

        "which confuses quantity for quality" But quantity has a quality all of it's own.

        Besides your comment makes you out to be an old fogey, if a picture is worth a thousand words and you don't want to discuss philosophy, theology, history or anything for which there are no pictures, why not send a picture?

        Remember, you are the people your parents warned you against.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You can also send dick pics on it."

      You were doing so well up to then.

      It leverages and supersedes millennial conceptions of patriarchy and alt-feminism by synergistically engaging with the iconography of desire and satiation, permitting instantaneous response to urges towards transgressive behaviour in an environment of transient satisfaction without implying traditional gender roleplaying and so enabling expression of gender fluidity.

      (it allows fanny pictures as well.)

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: "You can also send dick pics on it."

        You convinced me to vote for Hillary!

  10. LDS Silver badge

    "will know they're being recorded because of a halo-like light"

    Time to start a drone business that will detect the halo and crash into the glasses...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "will know they're being recorded because of a halo-like light"

      Drones!? Too technical, and way too slow. What's needed in the ever-accelerating technological sphere is rapid response times--on the order of seconds, or even less. Fortunately, the halo might be considered the first of a series of concentric circles of different diameter, making it easy to triangulate your response, even in the dark. Call it assistive or enabling, if you like, but it seems like a problem carrying its own solution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "will know they're being recorded because of a halo-like light"

        "Call it assistive or enabling, if you like, but it seems like a problem carrying its own solution."

        Many years ago I wondered why nobody had come up with a warhead containing extremely thick ink which would be fired at close range at a tank, blinding it. Reverse smoke if you like.

        It seems to me a repurposed potato gun and gel ink capsule might do the job here. Paint guns are a bit too dangerous.

  11. censored

    I admit I don't get it

    And I'm pretty sure it's not me. I'm as 'digital native' as they come, despite approaching 40. I'm a user not an IT-bod.

    Snapchat doesn't doesn't appear to have utility. It simply doesn't do much. It's very ephemeral nature is it's greatest downfall. It's speed reduces the quality of communication. It's utterly empty and bereft of any kind of meaning.

    I have teens who use it. And they're sending a near constant stream of pictures. Each takes no more than 10 or 15 seconds to compose, snap, edit and send. Which means it's taken virtually no thought. When each message it received, it stays only for 10 seconds. Imagine looking for meaning in something new in ten seconds?! It has no meaning.

    It's almost telepresence. But that's all. "I am here and friends with you". That's basically it.

    If you composed a message or an image with meaning, you'd surely want it to stay around? If you received something of interest or with value, you'd want to keep it. At least for more than 10 seconds.

    As for the parent's stuff - we didn't want the kids to have it, but dad allowed it. "It's fine," they said "it tells you if someone takes a screenshot". Bit late by then, isn't it? We have since dealt with a 14 yo sexting and a stream of illegal bullying messages disappearing, leaving no evidence to have it dealt with. Wonderful.

  12. Bucky 2

    As good as it gets

    Just think of Twitter. Then take away reason and accountability.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it tells you if someone takes a screenshot"

    Doesn't stop anyone pointing another camera at the screen unless it's really smart.

  14. Stevie Silver badge


    The really nifty thing about being too old for Millennial Tech is that it doesn't seem to be any sort of real-life hindrance.

    I get the occasional issue with people who insist I go to their arsebook page and who can't understand that I won't use the thing, but it usually turns out that all they wanted me to see was some text which they can mail to me or a picture I have no interest in seeing anyway.

    And I've avoided being rooted by any of The Zuck's behind-the-scenes, while-you-weren't-looking "enhancements" to the arsebook experience or being friended/unfriended as a bullying tactic by idiots who think I give a rat's bottom for their e-presence in my life.

    1. fedoraman

      It just tells you if someone took a screenshot - it doesn't (and AFAIK can't ) prevent it. My 15yo daughter showed me, on her iPhone. I see it as a bit like tweets that you don't have to bother deleting.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: As good as it gets

      Nice paraphrase. You're Jack Nicholson and I demand my 5 pounds unless you're carrying an axe.

  15. theblackhand Silver badge


    No one cares about what the application does as long as it's user growth rates are good.

    Who needs revenue! It'll magically appear somewhere in the future. About the time they introduce advertising or micro-payments and the app suddenly becomes less popular....

  16. Stoneshop Silver badge

    will know they're being recorded because of a halo-like light

    So you know when to hit it (and where, if you haven't found out where the cam is already).

    "Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with a baseball bat"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants.”

    Oh really? I was one of the people who built the foundations of what they're using (pretty much like other immigrants, by the way) and trust me, when it comes to the fundamentals there are still very few who have a clue. If I see what passed for an "expert" these days (worse, what calls ITSELF an expert, IMHO one of the more major sins) I can only conclude that whatever is used to teach these people cannot be more complex than an etch-a-sketch, although they wouldn't recognise that either unless it had some fancy name and marketed every 30 seconds on websites and TV.

    When I started with IT you needed a talent for logic and engineering. You still do, even though there are now many ways to fake having that talent. That is, until Powerpoint time is over and you actually have to deliver.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      That is, until Powerpoint time is over and you actually have to deliver.

      I have found out you no longer need to deliver. Riding the shockwave of endless unfulfilled promises stacked on other unfulfilled promises and lubed with paperware is the way forward. Actually the ONLY way forward as we have come to the point where deluded customers expect the moon for the price of a script.

      Let everything burn down.

  18. Alan W. Rateliff, II

    New, from MomCorp

    The eyePhone!

  19. Oh Homer

    For those who still don't get it...

    If the SMS with photos (or more precisely the photo equivalent of SMS) analogy doesn't work for you, then just think of it as "internet postcards".

    "This is me, this is where I am, this is what I'm doing."

    If you think that's vacuous then so are holiday postcards, and yes I suppose they are, but they're not really meant to have some profound meaning, they're just meant to be friendly.

    And just like their snail-mail counterpart, most people don't really have any reason to keep them forever. Yes, I've seen the pier at Bognor Regis, thanks.

    Unlike their snail-mail counterpart, they tend to actually arrive before the end of your holiday (or night out, funny spewing episode, etc.). They're probably also a better medium for sending material that might otherwise get you arrested, or at least cause your postie a nasty accident.

  20. Arctic fox

    Well done Andrew

    The best description of SlapTwat that I have read to date.

  21. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Optic nerve taps

    Within twenty years, we'll accept we're perpetually recorded. (Well, the crusty reactionaries round here won't; but the rest of the population will tolerate it.) It happens already with CCTV. And now the police are starting to wear bodycams. Okay, the glassholes got beat up. I imagine the spectacle wearers will, too; but not quite so much. And the wearers of the generation of devices after that will get beaten up still less, as slowly our intolerance is worn away.

    In theory, you'll have the right to erase a youtube video of youths shouting abuse at you. In practice, it will be too much hassle. People will just accept it as part of life. (And the videos that people think are worth deleting will be mirrored so many times they'll be de facto undeletable, even if the law says otherwise.)

    Hopefully, twenty years after that, we'll be able to set up algorithms that pixelate ourselves whenever we appear in public footage and let them loose upon the world. Till then, mine's the burqa.

    1. AdamWill

      Re: Optic nerve taps

      One of William Gibson's recent novels came up with a t-shirt (IIRC, anyway) designed to screw with video compression algorithms and stop the wearer being trackable via security cameras...neat concept. (I may be misremembering the details a bit, it's a couple of years since I read it, but that was the basic idea).

    2. Phil.T.Tipp

      Re: Optic nerve taps

      "Till then, mine's the burqa." I think you're on the right track - but medieval sand people masks aren't the answer.

      I suspect, as you correctly imagine, that future generational tech-creep and the mass-adoption/mass-acceptance model will put many more of these perma-recording digi devices into the public arena. However, there is, quite demonstrably even now, a market for the opposite - for privacy and decorum - grown-up attributes.

      My suspicion is that with the rise of the SnapHoles and whatever always-on spyware that follows, there will be a profitable reactionary leap in counter-technology which can obfuscate, blind, confuse, mis-direct or otherwise negate the mindless soul-stealing of the all-seeing eyes.

      Til then, mine's the one with the portable jammer in the pocket.

  22. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Flash, Bang, Wallop, what a Snap!

    At "Half A Sixpence" a share.

    A spoonful of Zucker helps the valuation go up

  23. AdamWill

    It's the end of the new.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Snapchat is literally a chromatic cathedral of colour, a panoply of pantone, and the verisimilitude of viral video.

    I think we're done here.

  25. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Had it installed to chat with a friend in Norway.

    Can't see the use of it, when Whatsapp/Telegram can let you share pictures and spew verbal diarrhea at the same time should you want to do so.

    Uninstalled it anyway, was just hogging space on my phablet.

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