Jun 22

iOS Update: Bug Fixes and More!

Team Snapchat has been growing by leaps and bounds this month. The arrival of summer has brought with it summer engineering interns and other new members of the team. We’re excited to be picking up the pace of development!

There’s a new iOS version available in the App Store today. It includes some critical fixes for bugs and crashes, so please download it if you’ve been experiencing issues.

We’re also trying out something new in this release. As you may know, Snapchat is for teens and adults— children under the age of 13 are not allowed to create accounts. The previous iOS update introduced age-gating, in which we asked people their age on the registration screen and didn’t allow them to proceed if the age entered was under 13. This was a pretty standard way of handling things, but it didn’t provide a very good experience. So now, in addition to age-gating, we’ve decided to try something a little different.

In the new iOS version, kids under the age of 13 are able to fill out the registration form, however their user information is not sent to us and an account is not created. Instead they are able to use “SnapKidz” a version of Snapchat that includes an interface for taking snaps, captioning, drawing, and saving them locally on the device, but does not support sending or receiving snaps or adding friends. We’re trying it out first on iOS and if all goes well, we hope to include it in an upcoming Android update.

While we were at it, we updated our Privacy Policy. We hope that the new version provides more detailed information about our practices. Don’t worry though, we haven’t changed the way we handle your information, including storing and deleting snaps (see our earlier blog post for details on that).

We also tweaked our Terms of Use to account for SnapKidz and a few other things that needed updating. We’ll be editing the Terms of Use from time to time as we continue to make it easier to read and understand.

Happy Snapping!

Team Snapchat

Jun 6

NoFace Chillah

There is no one face to Snapchat. Every day millions of us in the Snapchat community share how we feel, where we are, and what we are doing. Sometimes its happy or funny, sometimes sad or bored, but most importantly - we communicate who we are in the moment.

Many of you have noticed that in our latest iOS update, v5.0 Banquo, our mascot no longer has a facial expression. This isn’t because we forgot the face - it’s because you are the face of Snapchat

Letting go of the silly grin means that our mascot gets to have all sorts of fun expressions and personalities - reflective of the diverse experiences shared by the members of our community.

May 9

How Snaps Are Stored And Deleted

There’s been some speculation lately about how snaps are stored and when and how they are deleted. We’ve always tried to be upfront about how things work and we haven’t made any changes to our practices, so we thought it’d be cool to go over things in a bit more detail.

Storing Snaps

When someone sends a snap, it is uploaded to our servers, the recipient(s) are sent a notification that they have a new snap and the Snapchat app downloads a copy of the message. The image or video from the message is stored in a temporary folder in the device’s memory. This is sometimes in internal memory, RAM or external memory like an SD Card—depending on the platform and whether it’s a video or a picture.

Deleting Snaps From Our Servers

When a snap is viewed and the timer runs out, the app notifies our servers, which in turn notify the sender that the snap has been opened. Once we’ve been notified that a snap has been opened by all of its recipients, it is deleted from our servers. If a snap is still unopened after 30 days, it too is deleted from our servers.

Deleting Snaps From the Recipient’s Device

After a snap has been opened, the temporary copy of it is deleted from the device’s storage. We try to make this happen immediately, sometimes it might take a minute or two. The files are deleted by sending a “delete” instruction to the phone’s file system. This is the normal way that things are usually deleted on computers and phones—we don’t do anything special (like “wiping”).

Extra Details

While an unopened snap is being stored on the device, it’s not impossible to circumvent the Snapchat app and access the files directly. This isn’t something we support or encourage and in most cases it would involve jailbreaking or “rooting” the phone and voiding its warranty. If you’re trying to save a snap, it would be easier (and safer) to just take a screenshot or take a picture with another camera.

Also, if you’ve ever tried to recover lost data after accidentally deleting a drive or maybe watched an episode of CSI, you might know that with the right forensic tools, it’s sometimes possible to retrieve data after it has been deleted. So… you know… keep that in mind before putting any state secrets in your selfies :)

Team Snapchat

Apr 16

Snap Spam (Ew.)

Early this morning, some Snapchatters alerted us that they had received unwanted snaps from people who weren’t their friends. Upon initial investigation, it appears that an individual created multiple accounts and sent snaps to Snapchatters with public accounts. 

Our engineering team responded quickly (nice work guys!) by temporarily turning off new account creation and preventing Snapchatters from receiving snaps from friends that they had not previously added on Snapchat. 

Spam is a problem on many services with large audiences. We know spammers totally suck and we’re working on a long term solution to prevent spam from entering your feed. In the meantime, please adjust your settings to determine who can send you snaps. For a spam-free experience we recommend “Only My Friends” :)

Sorry for the spam - we’ll keep you updated as we work on this issue.

Evan

Feb 22

Snapchatter

Feb 21

Video on Android is Here!

Over the last four months, Android snapchatters around the world have been sharing experiences through photographs, words, and drawings. Today we are thrilled to announce the arrival of video to our Android community! It is hard to imagine that just a few months ago we were beta testing our app with just a few new friends in Norway. 

Making Snapchat video for Android has been exciting, but has also had its fair share of challenges. The Android phones that many of us use were never designed with Snapchat in mind, and that can be tough when developing a hardware-based application. The video feeds and playback behavior can differ greatly - often with no guarantees or warnings. Some users will still experience difficulties, and we want to work with you to make Snapchat perfect (email us!), but we hope many of you simply come to love video snaps.

But it isn’t just video! We have revamped our notification system to give you more informative, exciting, and customizable notifications from your friends. Snapchat on Android will now have significantly more reliable behavior when you are out and about, and we have improved both camera frame-rates and navigation speed by redesigning portions of our camera.

It is so much fun building this app for the Android Snapchat community. We have a ton of great updates on the way - stay tuned and happy snapping!

Daniel

Dec 14

Our Biggest Update Yet: v4.0 Phantom!

It’s been a busy couple of months at Snapchat. With over 50 million snaps shared every day, we’ve had to do a lot of work to make sure our service can continue to support a growing community of snappers. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a major update to our iPhone application – video snaps!

Snapchat is all about sharing moments as they happen, and video is a great way to capture those moments.  Unfortunately, with most camera applications, by the time you’ve switched from your still camera to your video camera and are ready to go, you’ve already missed the moment. It’s really frustrating. So we built something different – and we think it makes a lot more sense.

Instead of toggling back and forth between a photo and a video setting, we’ve combined them into one button.  If you want to take a photo, just tap the button.  If you want to capture video, hold the button down.  When you’re done recording, lift your finger. Super simple. Video snaps are up to ten seconds long, and like photo snaps, can only be viewed once in the application.

But that’s not all – this update has a lot of great stuff. We’ve made capturing and sending faster with a full-screen preview, added landscape captions (just rotate your iDevice!) and there’s a new settings page to help you manage who can send you snaps.

As always, we appreciate your feedback! Feel free to shoot us an email if you need help or just want to say hi: support@snapchat.com

Nov 23

We’re Thankful

Yesterday was a huge day for us. Millions of people used Snapchat to share their Thanksgiving festivities and send holiday wishes to their friends and family. We sent and received all sorts of turkey snaps – raw turkeys on their way into the oven, silly turkey drawings, and steaming hot turkeys doused in cranberry sauce!

Unfortunately, all of this excitement was not without a few hiccups. Our servers struggled to keep up with over one thousand snaps sent every second. 

We apologize if you weren’t able to send snaps with the normal speed and ease that we strive to provide every day, and we’re thankful for your continued support of our service. We’ve got some exciting holiday surprises on the way for you!

Love,

Team Snapchat

Oct 29

It’s finally here!

Snapchat is now available in the Google Play store for all Android devices running v2.2 or higher.

This isn’t just a copy of our iPhone app.  We wanted to create a true Android app, and spent a lot of time making it feel just right. With all of the different devices, each with different camera hardware, it’s tough to develop an app that works really well for every user. We started by rebuilding the camera layer from the ground up in OpenGL to make sure everyone could experience a fullscreen camera preview, even if it wasn’t natively supported on the device. Then we developed a new, ultrafast way to send images and load them in the feed, and combined that with a buttery smooth custom interface. We couldn’t be more excited to bring you a truly first-class Android app.

A huge thank you to all of our fans for your support – we know waiting is never fun – and we really appreciate all of your encouraging emails, tweets, and facebook messages. You guys make those late nights totally worth it.

If you see a bug please let us know! We’ve only been able to test on 250 devices-and that’s just a small fraction of the Android world.

BTW iPhoners…get ready for the craziest Snapchat release yet-coming soon :)

Android Camera Screen     

Oct 28

1 Billion

Our Snapchat community has now shared over 1 billion snaps - with over 20 million unique moments shared every day. We’re absolutely thrilled, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your support and belief in our product. We feel privileged to work on Snapchat every day!

Snapchat is lovingly built in Los Angeles, California.