Unpopular opinion: Snapchat sucks.

“Unpopular Opinions” are exactly that. These opinions are those of the authors alone, and do not represent the opinions of The Lasso or of George Mason High School.

You’d have to be living under a rock if you don’t know what Snapchat is. The messaging and photo sending app is popular among teens and young adults. It has many notable features, including selfie filters, messages that disappear after ten seconds, a map function, and news stories. However, Snapchat lacks many key aspects that other messagings apps offer, and for that reason, it’s often hard to take seriously.

Encryption: Encryption is a type of protocol used by computers to secure user data. End-to-end encryption basically means only the sender and receiving party have access to the message content. Snap Inc. hasn’t spoken much about encryption, unlike other services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. If users are sharing information with a service like Snapchat, they should know from the start that their data is not safe. Due to Snapchat’s lack of encryption, prying eyes and cybercriminals can read your content sent within the app.

Theme: Snapchat’s theme is just too playful for my liking. Things should be simple and straight to the point. On Snapchat, the app interface and look is just too busy. With all the swiping, colors, and difficult navigation it would give anyone a headache. Another thing that has been pushed on users by Snap Inc. would be the Bitmoji integration. Snapchat is slowly but aggressively pushing this on its users. Many people have created a Bitmoji to fill the unsightly humanoid figure that appears on your profile if you choose not to integrate Bitmoji. Companies shouldn’t be forcing users to sign up for another service just to “enhance” their app’s experience.

A girl holds her phone while on Snapchat.

Junior Casandre Rice holds her smartphone with Snapchat open. Snapchat users are able to take photos of themselves, add filters to them and send them to their friends for as many seconds as they want the photos to show. (Photo by Zach Jepson)

Snapmap: Yes, you can disable this feature. However, the idea of it is just plain creepy. Seeing your Snapchat friends wherever they are, with instantaneous updates, is a bit too far. If your friends are hanging out without you, you can see this on the Snapmap (if they’ve enabled it), which can create additional stress for adolescents who already deal with friendship problems in the real world. An app shouldn’t cause problems like that.

Battery Drain: Every Snap user knows this well, even if they choose to deny it. Snapchat drains the life out of your smartphone battery. The obvious difference with and without Snapchat installed is apparent. Because of all the bells and whistles such as selfie masks, filters, location sharing, and a constant content refresh, it’s no wonder why Snapchat drains your smartphone battery. All the while, Snap Inc. will not hesitate to add new features, cramming the app full of useless features, such as the ‘memories’ function. With these endless features, Snapchat is bound to drain some battery.

Limited use: Users can only use Snapchat on a smartphone or a tablet, yet the latter is not the best experience. Snap users cannot use PCs or Macs. Services like WhatsApp, Telegram, and WeChat have all implemented desktop versions, while Snapchat continues to have no such feature. Not only that, you cannot be logged in with Snapchat on more than one device. Log in on your iPhone, then log into Snapchat on your iPad, and the iPhone is going to be logged out. This makes Snapchat both annoying and unreliable.

All the reasons listed above have been enough for me to distance myself from the Snap world. Snapchat isn’t worth the hype, and it definitely doesn’t deserve to be called a fundamental smartphone app. If you’re looking for secure and fun chat service, look elsewhere.

Zach Jepson
Zach Jepson

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