Facebook Will Launch Convenient Sexting Feature, What Could Go Wrong?
Facebook is rumored to be launching an app to compete with Snapchat. If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, it’s a photo messaging service that sets itself apart from other ways of sending your friends photos by having pictures “self-destruct” Inspector Gadget-style after a preset length of time — usually just a few seconds. Why would anyone need to send a photo that self-destructs? The only answer I can think of is for sending naked pictures to people, and I’m not alone in that assumption, as Snapchat has developed a reputation as the “sexting app.”
The new service is expected to be a separate app, rather than being built into Facebook, the same way Camera and Messenger are now standalone programs. There is still no official word from Facebook, but the app is expected to be launched before the end of the year. That’s in keeping with Facebook’s long history of seeing a competitive startup doing well and then either buying it or cloning it. In the case of Instagram, they kind of did both by launching their Camera app soon after acquiring the popular photo sharing service.
Now, in principle, people can certainly use a service like Snapchat for something other than sending pictures of their bits and pieces. I can’t think of any right now, but they’ve got to be out there. Considering Facebook’s community standards regarding nudity are still very strict, it’s unlikely they want to cut into the sexting market intentionally, so presumably Mark Zuckerberg sees a different use for temporary pictures. Once you get the idea of sexting into your head, though, it’s hard to think about less scandalous things you can do with something like Snapchat.
What are some other, non-naked uses for a service like this? Secret agent briefings? Ransom notes? Hostage photos? I’m having a hard time coming up with any that don’t already violate Facebook’s terms of service.