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?
|Ello, the Anti-Facebook Social Media Platform|
|Jacking in from the Slam the Spam Port|
|"There needs to be more aggressive enforcement action on tech companies like Google."|
|Facebook's 'Like This' Button is Tracking You|
|“It’s taking orders for a real-life flying motorcycle powered by five modified jet engines.”|
|“By day, she visits morgues, observes autopsies, and studies pictures of crime scenes.”|
|What Nothing Really Means in Seinfeld|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Featuring over 2,000 flags in motion to Ludwig van Beethoven.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“Without ads, how does Netflix manage to make money?”|
|“A chain of endlessly recommended YouTube videos made by strangers motivated by advertising dollars.”|
|“How easy it is for anyone who tracks our digital activities to gain insight into our personalities.”|