Snapchat is a mobile messaging app for sharing pictures that disappear: It sends photos and then deletes them from the recipient's phone within seconds after they're viewed. The free Snap Chat app is available for iPhone, iOs and Android mobile phones and other devices. Messages are similar to SMS text messaging, so it's a free way to message without paying phone carrier messaging fees.
Snapchat is widely (and controversially) used by young people for sexting, or sending messages with sexually suggestive/explicit photos, videos and text. The ephemeral nature of the images shared -- users can set it up so the recipient sees the image for only a few seconds, or up to 10 seconds -- has made this messaging program the target of parental ire. Many parents worry that Snapchat encourages inappropriate and risky messaging activity because senders think their actions are only temporary.
That said, the app has proven popular with young people, who have been sharing millions of photos a day via the simple free app available from Apples iTunes App store and Google Play. As of spring 2014, the company said its users were sending 700 million pictures and videos each day via the "self destructing" messages it calls "snaps."
Sign Up for Snapchat with Your Email Address
Snapchat is easy to use. You download the app for free and then sign up for a free account on the opening screen that appears to first time you launch it (the opening Snap chat sign up screen is shown in the image above.) It asks for your email address, birthday and a password which you create. No confirmation email is sent.
After you provide your email and create a password, on the next screen you'll be invited to create a short user name. You won't be able to change your Snapchat user name later, though, so stop and think before creating your password. It also offers the option to verify your new account via a message sent to your phone (you can skip the step but it's generally a good idea to do it.)
Once you're signed in, you can import your friends' contact info from Facebook or your phone's address book/contact list. Just click the "Find friends" link.