An Apology to Our Employees

We’re a company that takes privacy and security seriously. So it’s with real remorse–and embarrassment–that one of our employees fell for a phishing scam and revealed some payroll information about our employees. The good news is that our servers were not breached, and our users’ data was totally unaffected by this. The bad news is that a number of our employees have now had their identity compromised. And for that, we’re just impossibly sorry.

Here’s what happened: Last Friday, Snapchat’s payroll department was targeted by an isolated email phishing scam in which a scammer impersonated our Chief Executive Officer and asked for employee payroll information. Unfortunately, the phishing email wasn’t recognized for what it was–a scam–and payroll information about some current and former employees was disclosed externally. To be perfectly clear though: None of our internal systems were breached, and no user information was accessed.

Needless to say, we responded swiftly and aggressively. Within four hours of this incident, we confirmed that the phishing attack was an isolated incident and reported it to the FBI. We began sorting through which employees–current and past–may have been affected. And we have since contacted the affected employees and have offered them two years of free identity-theft insurance and monitoring.

When something like this happens, all you can do is own up to your mistake, take care of the people affected, and learn from what went wrong. To make good on that last point, we will redouble our already rigorous training programs around privacy and security in the coming weeks. Our hope is that we never have to write a blog post like this again.

Team Snapchat

On-Demand Geofilters

Geofilters are one of our favorite parts of Snapchat. We’ve been blown away by the creativity of the Snapchat community, and we’ve loved watching the personality of each place emerge through your artwork. To date, almost half a million Community Geofilters have been submitted, and every day, Snaps overlaid with Geofilters are viewed hundreds of millions of times!

We initially designed Community Geofilters for public places — but we kept hearing from Snapchatters who wanted a Geofilter for their business or private event, so today we’re announcing something new:

On-Demand Geofilters let you create and publish a Geofilter for your party, wedding, business, or any other place or event. It’s a fun way to help your friends or customers decorate their Snaps, wherever they are!

How it works:

  • Design — Use your favorite image editor to create a filter. We’ve also provided some templates that are compatible with Photoshop and Illustrator to get you started :)
  • Map — Pick a geofence where your filter will appear, then choose the time and dates you want your Geofilter to be available.
  • Buy — Submit your Geofilter. Our team will quickly review it and, assuming all is well, get it up and running.

You can buy On-Demand Geofilters for an event or even an entire block — for an hour or up to thirty days! Pricing starts at $5, and depends on a few factors including, among others, the size of your geofence and the time period you’ve chosen. On-Demand Geofilters are available now in the US, UK, and Canada, with more locations coming soon!

Get started at https://www.snapchat.com/on-demand!

For more info and FAQs, please check out our Geofilters Support Center.

Story Explorer

Snapchat Stories celebrate the power of different perspectives. It’s a totally unique way to experience what’s happening all over the world through the eyes of our community.

Sometimes what’s happening goes beyond the Snaps we’ve curated into a Story. Today, we’re introducing Story Explorer.

Story Explorer relies on technology developed by our research team to provide more depth to every Snap in a Story. When you see a moment that inspires or excites you, simply swipe up to see more Snaps of that same moment - from every perspective.

It’s the first time you’ll be able to experience that incredible game-winning dunk from thousands of perspectives throughout the stadium - or feel like you’re right there on the scene when breaking news unfolds.

Our community makes this possible by sharing Snaps in the moment and contributing so many diverse perspectives - a huge thank you to Snapchatters everywhere for making this dream a reality!

We’re launching Story Explorer on the New York and Los Angeles Live Stories today - with plans to roll out this technology across many more Stories very soon!

Happy Exploring!

Protecting your Privacy

There’s been some confusion about the updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service we rolled out last week. We never want to create any misunderstanding over our commitment to protecting your privacy.

First off, we want to be crystal clear: The Snaps and Chats you send your friends remain as private today as they were before the update. Our Privacy Policy continues to say—as it did before—that those messages “are automatically deleted from our servers once we detect that they have been viewed or have expired.” Of course, a recipient can always screenshot or save your Snaps or Chats. But the important point is that Snapchat is not—and never has been—stockpiling your private Snaps or Chats. And because we continue to delete them from our servers as soon as they’re read, we could not—and do not—share them with advertisers or business partners.

It’s true that our Terms of Service grant us a broad license to use the content you create—a license that’s common to services like ours. We need that license when it comes to, for example, Snaps submitted to Live Stories, where we have to be able to show those Stories around the world—and even replay them or syndicate them (something we’ve said we could do in previous versions of our Terms and Privacy Policy). But we tried to be clear that the Privacy Policy and your own privacy settings within the app could restrict the scope of that license so that your personal communications continue to remain truly personal.

You may wonder why we revised the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Here are a few of the key reasons:

  • The main thing we did was to rewrite the Terms and Privacy Policy so that they’d read the way people actually talk. We always try to be upfront and clear with our community.
  • We added language to the Terms of Service regarding in-app purchases. We needed to do that now that we’re selling Replays—and have some other cool products and services we’re looking forward to bringing to you soon.
  • To make it a little easier for friends to find you on Snapchat, we’ve clarified what info—like your name—will be visible to other Snapchatters and how you can modify that info.

Both the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy are important documents, so we encourage all Snapchatters to read them. For more info, please check out Snapchat Support, including articles like When are Snaps and Chats deleted? and our Community Guidelines.

A Whole New Way to See Yourself(ie)

We’re thrilled to announce a whole new way to express yourself on Snapchat. When you’re using the camera to take a selfie, just press and hold on your face to activate Lenses. You can play with Lenses before taking a Snap — just select one from the row at the bottom and follow the on-screen instructions!

We introduced Replay in Additional Services almost two years ago, and we’ve used it to relive those amazing moments (or the ones we weren’t paying attention to…) just one more time before they disappear. We’ve provided one Replay per Snapchatter per day, sometimes frustrating the millions of Snapchatters who receive many daily Snaps deserving of a Replay. But then we realized — a Replay is like a compliment! So why stop at just one?

Today, U.S. Snapchatters can purchase extra Replays, starting at 3 for $0.99. You can use a Replay on any Snap you receive, but you can only Replay any Snap once. They’re a little pricey — but time is money! ;)

You’ll also find some fun surprises in this update, including Trophies (tucked above the camera).

Happy Snapping!

Team Snapchat

Tap to View

Today marks a pretty big change for Snapchat — you no longer have to press and hold the screen to view a Snap or Story — instead, simply Tap to View! This means no more tired thumbs while watching a several-hundred-second Story… and a little getting used to for anyone who has been Snapchatting for a while. We think you’re going to love it!

There are also some new ways to make friends — including Add Nearby. It’s a quick way to add a group of friends when you’re all hanging out together. If everyone opens Add Nearby, a list of your friends will appear on the screen. Just tap to add.

Snapcodes also got a serious upgrade :) You can add a selfie to the center of your Snapcode, so that it’s easier for friends to recognize you when you add them on Snapchat. If you see a Snapcode in another app, just take a screenshot. You can add screenshotted Snapcodes through Add Friends.

Last but not least, we recently rolled out two-factor authentication to improve Snapchat security. Once you enable it, bad guys will have a much harder time if they try to hack into your account.

Happy Snapping!

Team Snapchat

Snapcodes

We introduced Snapcodes in early January as an easy way to add friends on Snapchat. Simply point your Snapchat camera at a Snapcode and tap your screen to add!

The response has been incredible. Snapchatters scan millions of Snapcodes each week!

Today, we are making it easier to share and personalize your unique Snapcode by offering downloadable vector files and branding guidelines on our website.

Happy Snapcoding!

Our Transparency Report

We’re excited to announce our first transparency report, a comprehensive look into the data requests we receive from governments around the world. In this report we detail the number and types of requests each government is making of us.

While the vast majority of Snapchatters use Snapchat for fun, it’s important that law enforcement is able to investigate illegal activity. We want to be clear that we comply with valid legal requests.

Privacy and security are core values here at Snapchat and we strongly oppose any initiative that would deliberately weaken the security of our systems. We’re committed to keeping your data secure and we will update this report bi-annually.

Team Snapchat

Introducing Discover

Snapchat has always celebrated the way that you and your friends see the world. It’s fun to experience different perspectives through Snaps, Stories and Our Story.

Today we’re introducing Discover.

Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first. This is not social media.

Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.

Discover is different because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.

Discover is new, but familiar. That’s because Stories are at the core - there’s a beginning, middle, and end so that editors can put everything in order. Every edition is refreshed after 24 hours - because what’s news today is history tomorrow.

Discover is fun and easy to use. Tap to open an edition, swipe left to browse Snaps, or swipe up on a Snap for more. Each channel brings you something unique – a wonderful daily surprise!

Happy Discovering!

Love,

Team Snapchat