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Beginning as "Picaboo", the idea was to create a selfie app (application) which allowed users to share images that were explicitly short-lived and self-deleting.
The temporary nature of the pictures would therefore encourage frivolity and emphasize a more natural flow of interaction.
When, in April 2011, Spiegel floated the product idea in front of his class as a final project, the classmates focused on the impermanent aspect of the potential product, and balked at the thought of temporary photos.
Murphy was eventually brought into the project to write the source code for the application, and Picaboo first launched as an i OS-only app in July 2011.
One of the principal concepts of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible.
The prototype for Snapchat was started by Brown and Spiegel as a project for one of Spiegel's classes at Stanford, where Spiegel was a product design major.
It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect." He presented Snapchat as the solution to stresses caused by the longevity of personal information on social media, evidenced by "emergency detagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots before they hit the internet".
In June 2013, Snapchat version 5.0, dubbed "Banquo", was released for i OS.
Also in June 2013, Snapchat introduced Snapkidz for users under 13 years of age.
Spiegel explained that this process allowed the video data to be compressed into the size of a photo.
On May 1, 2014, the ability to communicate via video chat was added.
The Stories functionality was later expanded to "Live Stories", letting users at on-location events contribute snaps to a curated story available to all Snapchat users.
In January 2015, Snapchat introduced "Discover", a designated area within the app focused on ad-supported short-form content from major publishers.
Snapkidz was part of the original Snapchat application and was activated when the user provided a date of birth to verify his/her age.