Snapchat has taken the digital world by storm.
What started as a way for users to share seductive photos, with minimal risk, has now turned into a full-blown trend with heavyweights like Facebook trying to imitate the app's best feature, self-destructive messages.
Snapchat lets users take and send mobile photos to friends and draw or type messages on top of the photos.
The receiver can only view the photo message for a few seconds. After that, the image disappears and neither the viewer nor the sender can ever see it again. More than 3 million people used the app in December, and 60 million photo messages are sent over Snapchat daily.
But the question remains, as it does with many free apps: how will Snapchat make money?
The founders aren't phased. They have a brilliant idea for generating revenue: teasing products and redefining "flash" sales.
"The company imagines partnering with brands or advertisers that want to show certain Snapchat users a glimpse of a new device, a preview of a new movie or a sneak peek of an upcoming line of clothing," The New York Times' Jenna Wortham writes. "Or, they say, they could show 'exploding coupons,' an image that gives information about a deal or discount that expires after a certain amount of time."
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