Snapchat has become a sort of cultural phenomenon in the online community, one that has skyrocketed in popularity
, especially among teens and young adults. Facebook is among those who believe Snapchat is more than just a passing fad, hence why the world's largest social network reportedly tried to acquire the picture and video sharing service for more than $3 billion
, an offer that was rebuffed by Snapchat.
No matter how you look at it, turning down a buyout offer in the neighborhood of $3 billion is risky business. That's not to say Snapchat isn't worth more, or couldn't be worth more in the long run, but you also have to keep in mind the ever-changing status among teens of what's hot and what's not. Fads come and go (netbooks, anyone?), and on top of that, Snapchat recently fell prey to a hacker attack
that exposed 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers.
Our point in all this is that there are alternatives. Whether you're simply looking to try out something different or find yourself concerned with Snapchat's recent security breach, there are similar apps and services out there you can try. Kudos go out to Nick Kolakowski, a senior editor at Slashdot who rounded up five alternatives.
Wickr is one of several Snapchat alternatives.
In alphabetical order, the first alternative is Clipchat
, essentially a near carbon copy of Snapchat except that videos and photos last just five seconds before they're flushed (Snapchat lets you set the time at up to 10 seconds). And of course there's Facebook Poke
, a similar service that allows viewers to see your photos and videos for 10 seconds. However, only iPhone users need apply -- it's not available for Android.
Moving down the list, Silent Text
is an alternative primarily intended for working folk. You can send files up to 100MB (think Word, Excel, PDFs, etc), along with photos, videos, and even voice recordings with a timed "Burn Notice." The catch? It's not free -- subscriptions start at $9.95 per month.
The final two are Squawk
(self-destructing messaging app that supports animated stickers, memes, selfies, drawings, filtered photos, and more) and Wickr
(doesn't required personal information from the user and boasts military grade encryption -- AES256, ECDH521, RSA4096, and TLS).
Know of any other alternatives worth checking out? Share them with us and fellow readers in the comments section!