Thursday, December 26, 2013

How does an Erasable Internet Sound?

This is going to sound silly, but I think Snapchat was the most important technology of 2013. 
It sounds silly because Snapchat is just an app. What's more, it's an app used primarily by teens and college students, and wasn't I telling you just a few weeks ago that young people aren't good predictors of tech success? 
Then there's the question of whether Snapchat is useful at all. Snapchat sends so-called ephemeral messages, photos and captions that disappear a few seconds after the recipient opens them. Self-destructing photos sound like a recipe for mischief. When people first hear about Snapchat, they likely picture acts by a certain disgraced former congressman.
Snapchat's headquarters in Los Angeles. The service lets
users send messages and photos that disappear in a
few seconds. Bloomberg News
These are all good points. It's true that we don't know much about how and why people are using Snapchat, and I'm not sure its popularity with teens will translate into broader, long-term success. Snapchat, like all new services, is still more likely to fail than prosper. 
Yet, even if it fails, Snapchat will have been one of the most fascinating services to hit the Internet in years. To me, the app's exploding popularity suggests that society is yearning for a new way to think about data. Snapchat is one of the first mainstream services to show us that our photos and texts don't need to stick around forever: that erasing all the digital effluvia generated by our phones and computers can be just as popular a concept as saving it.
If the Snapchat model takes off—if other sites and services began to promote the idea of erasability as a competitive feature—the Internet would look very different from the Internet of today. It would be a more private network, one without the constant worry of every ill-considered picture or thought being held up for ridicule by the whole world, forever. But it also might be a less useful Internet, a network on which you couldn't look up an old photo every time you felt nostalgic, or where computers wouldn't always feed you suggestions based on your history, since your history wouldn't be complete.
Do we want to live on that Erasable Internet, the Snapchat Internet, instead of the Internet built by Facebook and Google? 
That question is exactly why Snapchat is so important, because before Snapchat, the Erasable Internet wasn't an option. The Forever Internet seemed the only way. Now, with users, investors, and engineers rushing to ephemeral-data apps created in Snapchat's image, forever-ness isn't assumed.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

WHERE do I sign-up?

This would be a great option for those of us who are cookie phobic, Use the private/Incognito options, and have our settings set to erase everything on exiting our browsers.

This seems to be a threat to everything Google and Facebook is about....KNOWING EVERYTHING THERE IS ABOUT YOU..then trying to lead you around the internet on a short leash.

I wonder if Snap-chat will allow themselves to be bought up by one of those giants?

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Anonymous said...


I still can't believe the two young men who own snapchat recently turned down 4 billion for it. I thought they were crazy, but maybe it has more potential than I realized.


BOSMAN said...

If this Technology TRULY does what they say it does, I can't see the Feds letting this one sneak by without some counter technology.

Think also what this does to all the social networks.

All those ads that pop-up ALL TAILORED FOR YOU according to what you've been looking/talking about on the web.