|Workshop of Ralph H. Bauer, inventor of the first video game (Smithsonian Institution)|
Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, went public Thursday. By day’s end, its share price jumped 44 percent, making the company worth $34 billion, about equal to General Mills, makers of Cheerios.
The offering interested me because I use Snapchat, by necessity. Since it is, I suspect, unfamiliar to many readers, I ought to explain it.
Snapchat is a photo sharing and messaging app. Like life itself, Snapchat is fleeting. The recipient has a set number of seconds — say 10 — to look at the photo being sent. Then it vanishes, irretrievably.
This has obvious utility if you are, say, sending naked pictures of yourself. Which let me rush to mention is not why I use it. Snapchat also allows messages to be written across the photo sent, and add a variety of comic trappings. If you want to send a photo of yourself as a dog, with floppy ears, snout and lolling tongue, Snapchat will do that.
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