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Friends can be added via usernames and phone contacts, using customizable "Snapcodes", or through the "Add Nearby" function, which scans for users near their location who are also in the Add Nearby menu.

Spiegel explained that Snapchat is intended to counteract the trend of users being compelled to manage an idealized online identity of themselves, which he says has "taken all of the fun out of communicating".

Users were previously required to hold down on the screen in order to view a snap; this behavior was removed in July 2015 The requirement to hold on the screen was intended to frustrate the ability to take screenshots of snaps; the Snapchat app does not prevent screenshots from being taken but can notify the sender if it detects that it has been saved.

However, these notifications can be bypassed through either unauthorized modifications to the app or by obtaining the image through external means.

After a single viewing, the video disappears by default.

Spiegel explained that this process allowed the video data to be compressed into the size of a photo.

The "Lens" feature, introduced in September 2015, allows users to add real-time effects into their snaps by using face detection technology.

This is activated by long-pressing on a face within the viewfinder.

Content in the Memories storage area can be searched by date or using a local object recognition system.The ability to send video snaps was added as a feature option in December 2012.By holding down on the photo button while inside the app, a video of up to ten seconds in length can be captured.On May 1, 2014, the ability to communicate via video chat was added.Direct messaging features were also included in the update, allowing users to send ephemeral text messages to friends and family while saving any needed information by clicking on it.On May 8, 2012, Reggie Brown sent an email to Evan Spiegel during their senior year at Stanford in which he offered to re-negotiate his equitable share regarding ownership of the company.Lawyers for Snapchat responded by insisting that he had never had any creative connection to the product.Snapkidz allowed children to take snaps and draw on them, but they could not send snaps to other users and could only save snaps locally on the device being used. was renamed Snap Inc., along with the introduction of the company's first hardware gadget, Spectacles, a pair of smartglasses with a built-in camera that can record 10 seconds of video at a time.Snapchat is primarily used for creating multimedia messages referred to as "snaps"; snaps can consist of a photo or a short video, and can be edited to include filters and effects, text captions, and drawings.In July 2016, Snapchat introduced a new, optional feature known as "Memories".Memories allows snaps and story posts to be saved into a private storage area, where they can be viewed alongside other photos stored on the device, as well as edited and published as snaps, story posts, or messages.