Snapchat is a popular multi-platform mobile photo messaging app that lets users send self-destructing pictures which vanish after a few seconds. The app first launched in iOS in 2011 as a simple way to share photos without sending them permanently. The following year Snapchat came to Android, and in 2014 it expanded beyond photo sharing with new features such as text chat and video calling — all without a permanent message history. According to the company, Snapchat's users were sharing some 700 million photos and videos per day as of May 2014.
Because of its focus on sending vanishing photos, Snapchat has become known in part as an app for 'sexting,' leading to concerns when when the service has become embroiled in privacy issues, as happened in May 2014.
Despite having reportedly received acquisition offers of $3 billion and $4 billion from Facebook and Google respectively, Snapchat remains an independent company. And in mid-2014 the company showed signs of wanting to branch out into other areas, introducing location-tagging in an update in June, followed by rumors of a mobile payment service weeks later.