If you're all hot and bothered to send photos of your private parts to your significant other (or your insignificant others), you might be able to do so on Facebook before the end of the year. According to a report on the tech blog AllThingsD, Facebook is developing their own version of Snapchat -- the photo messaging application that allows photographs to self-destruct, so images of your nasties presumably do not end up elsewhere on the Internet.
I'm guessing the "Flag as Inappropriate" button will not be included on this app.
The report on AllThingsD notes that Facebook is developing their own version of Snapchat, an aggressive move intended to steal the thunder of the increasingly popular photo-sharing app. "Facebook plans to launch the app in the coming weeks, sources say, sometime before the end of the year," according to the report.
This Facebook version of Snapchat will be a standalone app, meaning that you won't need a Facebook account to actually use the service. More significantly for the sexting community, you won't have to actually log in as yourself on Facebook to use the service.
If you're not familiar with Snapchat, it's an app that was launched in September 2011, and in just a year the platform had more than a billion photos sent. Last week, they rounded up $8 million in funding from the same backers who funded Instagram. The widely-held presumption is that the app is "obviously for sexting".
The Facebook version would work very similarly to Snapchat, according to AllThingsD reporter Mike Isaac. Users can upload a photo, and then program in the number of seconds the photo can appear before it will be automatically and permanently deleted -- both from the sender and recipient's phone, and from Snapchat's databases.
Because photos self-delete, Snapchat is widely considered to be a sexting app. How many of Snapchat's photos are actually sexually explicit? Snapchat is not saying. They do, however, argue that since 80% of their photos are sent during the daytime, we can presume these are not sexually explicit.
Of course, if your target demographic is 13 year olds, you would have urgent legal reasons to claim users are not sending explicit photos on your platform.
Facebook has refused to comment on whether they are actually developing their own Snapchat-style app. Snapchat's CEO is playing innocent. "We haven’t heard anything from Mark (Zuckerberg) about a Snapchat clone," CEO Evan Spiegel told AllThingsD.
If Facebook is developing such a clone, though, it shows their strategy when an app suddenly becomes popular. Facebook will either buy that company, or they will figure out a way to rip off whatever made that app successful.