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Snapchat is Not as Private as it Used to Be

Logo of Snapchat is seen at the front entrance new headquarters
Logo of Snapchat is seen at the front entrance new headquartersKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Snapchat, the mobile messaging app made popular for its ability to send quickly disappearing images, rolled out a few brand new features last week, but they may take away from the app’s original hook of ephemeral messaging, according to the New York Times.

Snapchat introduced text messaging and chatting, as well as a FaceTime-like video conferencing feature. But people who like Snapchat's disappearing messages should know that anyone can simply tap on a text message to save it in a thread forever, and the sender will never know.

Even more surprisingly, if you and your friend are chatting at the same time, the thread in that chat "room" does not disappear at all, for whatever reason, and neither do any of the pictures you've put into that thread.

Here is Snapchat’s video announcement from last week:

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While Snapchat’s official announcement of the new features states that you can tap or screenshot anything from the chat screen to keep it, it doesn’t mention that users won’t be able to tell if a message has been tapped. Snapchat still gives a notification if someone takes a screenshot of a photo you send them, but it won’t do the same for text messages.

These moves hint that Snapchat may be attempting to broaden its services to provide a comprehensive messaging system to its users, but those users should be aware that these new features don’t carry the same private or ephemeral effects of previous versions of the app.

Correction: A product designer at Snapchat later clarified that users would be notified when Snapchat text messages are saved by their recipients:

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