has captured the imagination of many, to the point that Facebook
has attempted to buy the service for as much as $3 billion
, yet even as its popularity grows, Snapchat continues to change. The premier feature of Snapchat is the fact that whatever image or short video you send disappears after it’s viewed, but the company keeps toying with ways to circumvent that very feature.
Last month it was the “Snapchat Story” feature
that lets users hang onto those images and videos for up to 24 hours, and now it’s a Replay feature (among other new features such as filters and special text overlay) that allows users to re-watch their most recent Snap once each day.
Although it makes sense to give users a way to view a Snap a second time in case they missed something in the original message, part of the allure of Snapchat is the fact that once that Thing you posted is viewed, it’s gone forever into the ether. In an era where everything you do online is there forever, people find it refreshing to be able to post something wild or crazy (or sexy or dangerous) without the repercussions of Internet permanence.
By taking that away--even just a little--Snapchat is inherently less exciting while simultaneously becoming more dangerous. It almost certainly won’t affect the number of Snapchat users, but it goes to show that every hot new online service changes and evolves eventually.