Snapchat is a mobile application known as a form of "ephemeral social media," which are platforms displaying shared content for a limited period of time (eg, 10 seconds).
Snapchat gives a better communication experience and is linked to more social enjoyment and positive mood than Facebook or other social media, according to a study by the University of Michigan.
"On the surface, many people view Snapchat as the 'sexting app'," said Joseph Bayer, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and the study's lead author.
Bayer and colleagues recruited 154 college students who used smartphones. The study used "experience sampling" - which measures how people think, feel and behave moment-to-moment in their daily lives - to assess the participants' well-being by texting them at random times six times a day for two weeks.
"If ephemeral social media are garnering a more concentrated form of attention, then Snapchat may also stand out from other social media to advertisers," Bayer said.
The participants viewed Snapchat as similar to face-to-face conversations because they were mundane, not recorded and typically occurred with close relationships. The study appeared online in the journal Information, Communication & Society.