Favorite Teen App Snapchat Promises to Delete Quirky Photos

New smartphone app encourages kids to share short-lived photos with friends.
2:33 | 01/03/13

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Transcript for Favorite Teen App Snapchat Promises to Delete Quirky Photos
You can read the full interview with anne hathaway, on "harper's bazaar" digitally and on newsstands. Snap chat, the appeal is you can share a snapshot with friends without risk of a viral moment. But is it encouraging kids to send inappropriate photos that won't disappear? Abc's linsey davis has more on the controversy. This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds. Reporter: It's technology right out of an "inspector gadget" episode. Teens are sending their own self-destructing messages online, with an app called snapchat. The photos you snap and share with your friends allegedly disappear in seconds. Yeah. That's part of the appeal. The fun of it is to send embarrassing pictures. Now, we can communicate with pictures. Reporter: With that belief, there's no permanent record of the photo, the snapchat community has shared more than a billion snaps since the app was first introduced in july. 13,469. Reporter: Worldwide, more than 20 million different sometimes compromising, embarrassing and, yes, even explicit photos, arered every day. You never received a picture? I've gotten one. But I just asked the person, what are you doing? This is gross. Yeah. It's unnecessary. Reporter: Was it a male? Like, we wouldn't think to use it like that. Reporter: A self-deleting picture app is something some celebrities might appreciate. Like prince harry. What if his infamous tmz photos were stripped away as instantly as his clothes were. The picture was of me and i sent it. Reporter: Or if anthony weiner's boxers were on the screen briefly. In theory, in seconds, it's gone. It turns out, with snapchat and poke, a similar app through facebook, the videos don't actually vanish as advertised. People who are using this and thinking no one else will see the pictures or videos are kidding themselves. You can take screen shots. You can take a picture with another camera. There's ways to save those pictures. Everyone has the fear that everything online is permanent. That's the point of it. Having the ability to take a screen shot defeats the purpose of snapchat. Reporter: We reached out to snapchat for comment but did not hear back. The takeaway here, if you want something to be private, don't share it. Get the picture? For "good morning america," linsey davis, abc news, new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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