Picture-messaging sensation Snapchat seems to experiencing some growing pains. CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel said today that over 150 million pictures a day flow through the auto-destructing photo-sharing service, but as the service gets bigger and gains more attention, the worst parts of the Internet are sure to follow.
According to a post on the company blog, some Snapchatters experienced a bit of a spam attack this morning from someone who appears to have created multiple accounts and spam to Snapchatters with accounts marked as public. According to Twitter, that spam seems to be nude-flavored.
Snapchat offers users two security options. You can receive Snaps from “only friends,” which means you’ve accepted them as a friend or added them yourself, or you can accept snaps from everyone.
Snapchat suggests using the private mode for now while the team comes up with a long-term fix for the issue, which is common among social services with quickly growing audiences.
When Snapchat first heard about the spam, the company turned off account creation entirely so that no new users could join the service or create accounts, spam or otherwise. They also shut down snaps sent between public accounts until the problem accounts were terminated.
Obviously, this is a short-term solution to a long-time problem, but Spiegel owns up to that in the blog post.
Spam is a problem on many services with large audiences. We know spammers totally suck and we’re working on a long term solution to prevent spam from entering your feed. In the meantime, please adjust your settings to determine who can send you snaps. For a spam-free experience we recommend “Only My Friends” :)
A few months after Snapchat started to gain traction, many labeled the app as a “sexting” service, since the notion of sharing images that don’t last is relatively new. That general concern has died down though, as common sense seems to prove that all 150 million messages sent through the service each day (most of which are sent during the day time) can’t possibly be nudies.
This latest nude spammer, however, does bring up the issue of unwanted sexts as opposed to wanted sexts. And that’s just the latest in a line of distractions for the company, including incredibly rapid growth, potential revenue streams, and a lawsuit from a former Stanford classmate who claims to have come up with the idea.
But distractions aside, it’s hard to argue with a service that has users sending 150 million snaps per day. Consider this: Instagram users post an average of 40 million pictures a day.