The reason behind the tremendous success of Snapchat is that the ‘snaps’ shared last only for few seconds, unless the receiver plans to screenshot them. Also, when screenshot the user gets a notification that other person has done so. But now, along with the video filters it unveiled few days ago, the app has announced the changes in its terms of conditions.
The modified terms grant Snapchat all the rights to all users’ messages, photos and videos sent through the platform which means owning of all the content. To be more specific, Snapchat says that “you retain whatever ownership rights in that content you had to begin with.” However, Snapchat retains the right to a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).”
In other words, Snapchat says it has all rights to do whatever it pleases with all the content users post on its platform. The photos people take and share, thinking they are temporary and private, could be used for Snapchat’s promotional material, on its website or even its social media accounts. Also, it says it can use a user’s name, likeness and voice published through Live Story for public broadcast without giving compensation to the user. This right is also extended to Snapchat’s partners.
When looked at the other social media networks, the modified terms are not very different from that of other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, although Facebook only extends its rights to content publicly posted on its platform. Even so, the rapid change of mind for Snapchat, which first marketed itself as an ephemeral messaging service where all the content is deleted after a day its sent from the server, has gotten it caught in the ire of some privacy-minded users.