Snapchat has become one of the most loved ‘secret messaging’ app amongst youngsters these days. The highlight of the app is that it can self-destruct a message within seconds of the receiver reading it, making it very popular as an app to send images you might not want anyone but the receiver to see. Facebook, on the heels of Snapchat, has also launched a similar app called ‘Poke’.
But these apps both have a flaw. The image you send can be saved by the receiver without the sender ever knowing about it.
Your images may not completely self destrcut!
Buzzfeed.com revealed that there is a ‘straightforward’ way to saving images and videos received through Snapchat without the sender ever knowing about it. “Both Snapchat and Poke locally store copies of videos sent to users, which are easily accessible with a free iPhone file browser,” says the report.
Here’s how you can view an image or video locally, according to the article:
“Receive a video in Snapchat or Poke. Don’t open it! Just tap to load it. Again, don’t open it. Plug your iPhone into your computer, and open up an iPhone file browser like iFunBox.
Navigate to the Snapchat folder. Open up the folder called “tmp.” For Facebook’s Poke, videos are stored a little deeper in the app’s files, in library/caches/fbstore/mediacard. Copy the videos to your computer. Critically, Snapchat’s videos remain in this folder even after they’re viewed; Poke videos appear to be deleted as soon as they’re viewed. Photos don’t show up, at least not in any place we checked.”
This pretty much violates what both Snapchat and Poke stand for, as messages are supposed to be deleted from not just the receivers’ phones but also the app servers as well. You can also save images received on Poke or Snapchat by taking a screenshot, even though senders are notified if the receiver takes one.
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel told Buzzfeed, “The people who most enjoy using Snapchat are those who embrace the spirit and intent of the service. There will always be ways to reverse engineer technology products — but that spoils the fun!”
Facebook, on the other hand replied to this saying, “Poke is a fun and easy way to communicate with your friends and is not designed to be a secure messaging system. While Pokes disappear after they are read, there are still ways that people can potentially save them. For example, you could take a screenshot of a photo, in which case the sender is notified. People could also take a photo of a photo you sent them, or a video of a video, with another camera. Because of this, people should think about what they are sending and share responsibly.”
Facebook launched Poke a couple of weeks ago to take Snapchat head on after several blitzkrieg changes to its existing messenger app. The Facebook Messenger app was updated to embrace non-Facebook users by allowing them to use it to communicate with friends, using only their names and mobile numbers. This change came after it was rumoured that Facebook was out to purchase cross-platform messaging service, Whatsapp.