On The Wall Street Journal, Farhad Manjoo argues that although "Snapchat, like all new services, is still more likely to fail than prosper," it is probably "the most important technology of 2013."
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 offif other sites and services began to promote the idea of erasability as a competitive featurethe 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?
|"If there were a Nobel prize for hypocrisy, then its first recipient ought to be Mark Zuckerberg."|
|Videogums Best Viral Videos of 2012: A Retrospective|
|Join us on Twitter|
|McDonald Killed the Hipness of Free Wi-Fi|
|The 'Turn a Quote into a Masterpiece' Generator|
|"Free apps make money by selling your personal data."|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“We’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them.”|
|“A novel experiment by a government to work with journalists and educators to combat the spread of online misinformation.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|The Festive Funk Machine: Click to Make Your Own Festive Music|
|“Both spacecraft are still operational when they reached interstellar space.”|
|“Initial riders may be more comfortable getting into a car with a human in the driver seat.”|
|“Can you replace the spring of a pogo stick with repelling magnets?”|