The astonishing growth of the disappearing-images application Snapchat, which had 3.4 million users in December, is a sign that younger social media users are "becoming acutely aware of the permanence of the content shared through the Web -- and its repercussions later in life," Jenna Wortham writes. Snapchat's founders say the utility of the format, which has inspired rivals Poke, Wickr and Vidburn, taps into a desire to connect more directly and impermanently. "It became clear how awful social media is," Snapchat's Evan Spiegel said. "There is real value in sharing moments that don't live forever."
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