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English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish Filipino Twi former students at Stanford University, and developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc.
One of the principal concepts of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible.
Users were previously required to hold down on the screen in order to view a snap; this behavior was removed in July 2015 The requirement to hold on the screen was intended to frustrate the ability to take screenshots of snaps; the Snapchat app does not prevent screenshots from being taken but can notify the sender if it detects that it has been saved.
However, these notifications can be bypassed through either unauthorized modifications to the app or by obtaining the image through external means.
Friends can be added via usernames and phone contacts, using customizable "Snapcodes", or through the "Add Nearby" function, which scans for users near their location who are also in the Add Nearby menu.
Spiegel explained that Snapchat is intended to counteract the trend of users being compelled to manage an idealized online identity of themselves, which he says has "taken all of the fun out of communicating".
The ability to send video snaps was added as a feature option in December 2012.
By holding down on the photo button while inside the app, a video of up to ten seconds in length can be captured.
Content in the Memories storage area can be searched by date or using a local object recognition system.
The app has evolved from originally focusing on person-to-person photo sharing to presently featuring "Stories" of 24-hour chronological content, along with "Discover" to let brands show ad-supported short-form entertainment.
Snapchat has become notable for representing a new, mobile-first direction for social media, and places significant emphasis on users interacting with virtual stickers and augmented reality objects.
On May 8, 2012, Reggie Brown sent an email to Evan Spiegel during their senior year at Stanford in which he offered to re-negotiate his equitable share regarding ownership of the company.
Lawyers for Snapchat responded by insisting that he had never had any creative connection to the product.In their first blog post, dated May 9, 2012, CEO Evan Spiegel described the company's mission: "Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment.