Leonardo Duarte, who lost his eyesight as a young adult victim of an attempted robbery, touches his computer screen as he listens to a special programme that reads him messages and email from his Facebook
page, at his home in Buenos Aires, May 1, 2013. Leonardo and his wife Eusebia Casimiro, also blind, are two of around 400,000 blind people in Argentina
, who despite having their lives improved through the legalization of guide dogs in more public places, still face a lack of jobs, a major problem according to the Association for Aid to the Blind. Picture taken May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Facebook, Inc. is very interested in Snapchat, a photo messaging application, and is offering $1 billion to acquire it.
Snapchat allows users to take photos and at the same time record videos and add text and drawings to them. These are called "snaps." These photo and video messages can only be sent to chosen recipients and disappear afterwards.
Snapchat falls under a new category of companies known as ephemeral messaging companies, which essentially offer erasable media to the users. Similar companies include Blink, Frankly and Gryphn. But these ephemeral messaging companies are accused of catering to the proliferation of sexting because users can immediately erase incriminating evidence of it once it is done. Most of these services can be used anonymously.
One of Snapchat's unique features is the "Snapchat Stories," which was launched in early October 2013. It allows users to create content links they shared and these can only be viewed within 24 hours. Then the shared content will be removed.
Snapchat was developed by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, both students of Stanford University. They work with a team of developers, including Daniel Smith, Leo Noah Katz and David Kravitz. It was released in September 2011 and works on both iOS and Android operating systems.
What attracts users, especially teenagers, is its combination of photo sharing and social networking, with better privacy settings and lesser chances of embarrassing photos resurfacing in the future.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook offered $1billion in an attempt to acquire Snapchat, but Evan Spiegel, Snapchat's CEO reportedly turned it down.
This billion dollar offer is nothing new for Facebook because it is willing to pay that much money to Instagram, another photo-sharing app similar to Snapchat.
When asked to comment on this matter, both Facebook and Snapchat failed to respond.
"The company does not respond to rumors or market speculation," a Facebook spokesman noted.
If Facebook really offered $1 billion to acquire Snapchat, then it would help the social networking site to hold on to its younger audience who prefers to share photos instead of updating their statuses online.
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