Snapchat on Thursday confirmed that millions of user accounts were compromised in a recent breach that exposed phone numbers and user names. Anonymity is a key aspect of the Snapchat service for many people, some of whom use the messaging app to exchange risqué photos and videos without revealing their identities. As such, users were not happy to learn that approximately 4.6 million Snapchat accounts were exposed in this latest breach. To compound matters, however, Snapchat has confirmed in a statement that it knew about the security vulnerability that led to the breach for months but failed to fix it. More →
Snapchat users beware: someone has posted the phone numbers and usernames of more than 4.6 million accounts on the site SnapchatDB, freely available as an SQL dump or CSV text file for anyone to download. The last two digits of each phone number have been censored “in order to minimize spam and abuse,” but the owner of the database says that “under certain circumstances,” the site might be willing to release the uncensored records. More →
Snapchat now has to deal with yet another potentially large security vulnerability as Gibson Security released a new report reiterating that it is possible for hackers to obtain Snapchat users’ phone numbers. They initially revealed this hack four months ago and it went ignored by Snapchat. Now, after multiple app updates, Gibson Security says the exploits detailed in its initial report have still not been addressed. More →
Just days ago, WhatsApp announced it had hit 400 million monthly active users globally — a phenomenal achievement. But in the fickle and trendsetting U.S. app market, Apple’s app store shows just how much WhatsApp’s grip on American consumers has weakened. The period right after Christmas is closely followed by the app industry. These are the days when a flood of new iPhones are being activated, many by teenagers getting their first smartphone. The current trends reflect the priorities of a new generation of smartphone owners. More →
2013 was the year of the selfie, according to the Oxford English Dictionary — but self-snaps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Everybody is taking selfies, from President Obama to astronaut Aki Hoshide. With the proliferation of smartphones with front-facing cameras, selfies have become mainstream. And with apps like Snapchat and Instagram that encourage people to take photos of themselves, the selfie will likely grow in popularity in 2014. More →
The core Facebook product is looking increasingly middle-aged and teens’ growing revulsion towards the service has been among the biggest tech themes of 2013. Arguably, the success of sizzling teen apps like Snapchat, Kik and Viber can be directly traced to Facebook’s inability to evolve. But even though the core service may be stumbling, Facebook holds two aces: Two of the company’s standalone apps — Facebook Messenger and Instagram — are ripping off core features from rival apps with splendid success. More →
As Google’s share price soars beyond $1,100, it seems like nothing can stop the Internet juggernaut as its land grab strategies continue to win over the eyes of its users and the wallets of its advertising clients. But an analysis published over this past weekend by The Wall Street Journal’s Farhad Manjoo raises an interesting question surrounding a new business model that could someday lead to Google’s downfall. Do we want an erasable Internet? More →
Younity is a new service from Entangled Media that brings Snapchat-like sharing features that apply to all the possible files users would have on their mobile devices and PCs, all without the company seeing or storing any of them. While in Snapchat shared images and pictures are actually stored on the company’s servers, and users at the receiving end can still find ways to copy the content that’s briefly shared with them, Younity will only manage the connection between two devices. More →
When Snapchat isn’t turning down multi-billion dollar offers from Facebook, it’s apparently dealing with some of the same issues that the world’s most popular social network dealt with in its fledgling years. Reuters reports that Snapchat “has filed for a temporary restraining order against Frank Reginald Brown,” a man who claims to have devised the concept of Snapchat in the first place. The company says that Brown leaked confidential testimony to the public in a separate suit, one in which he states that the company is refusing to acknowledge his contribution to the project. The videos that Brown leaked make a case for his side of the story, and Brown says that “he reserves the right to disclose the information to the public at any time.”
Snapchat users now send more “snaps” per day than Facebook users are uploading photos, according to a Business Insider report. Snapchat users send 400 million snaps every day, while Facebook users upload 350 million photos uploaded every day. Although Snapchat counts both videos and photos in its “snap” counts, it’s still very likely that its total number of daily photos shared beats out Facebook because the vast majority of its snaps are user pictures. More →
Snapchat must be very, very confident in itself because it’s apparently been turning down multibillion-dollar buyout offers left and right. Unnamed sources tell Valleywag that after Snapchat turned down Facebook’s $3 billion offer, Google swooped in with its own $4 billion offer that the company similarly turned down. Valleywag’s sources say that Snapchat has decided to wait until next year to raise cash because it wants to grow the number of photos its users share every day to more than the number of photos shared on Facebook every day. If that happens, the company expects its value to go through the roof, at which point $4 billion will look like chump change.
There aren’t many companies who would refuse to be bought by Facebook for $3 billion, as Snapchat is reported to have just done. But few companies can deliver the kind of engagement performance that new research from Mobidia now reveals. According to the mobile analytics firm, while the number of American Android phone owners who are active on Twitter stayed at 19% between January and October, the number of active Snapchat users exploded from 7% to 18% during the same time period. More →
If you don’t already, it might be time to think twice before sending any incriminating Snapchats to your friends. Business Insider stumbled upon a new app called SnapHack Pro on the App Store, which allows you to log in to your Snapchat profile and open photos without a timer. The photos are then stored in the SnapHack app for as long as you want to keep them. The trick is that the photos must be opened in SnapHack first — not the official Snapchat app — or SnapHack Pro will be unable to locate the images. As of October 14th, SnapHack Pro is still available on the App Store for $0.99, and it’s just the latest in a series of troubling backdoors surrounding the popular messaging app Snapchat.