Rochester, N.Y.-Andrew Athias spends a lot of free time using Snapchat, a popular application stored on his smartphone.
"Honestly, I use it to annoy people," said Athias, an RIT student.
Snapchat is a smartphone app that launched in July and allows the user to take photos or videos that are supposed to self destruct in ten seconds or less.
Snapchat users take photos, and can customize the images by, for instance, drawing a picture on it, then send it to other Snapchat users.
"I thought it was ridiculous, but they convinced me to sign up," said Anna Vecchi, another RIT student.
If only former Congressman Chris Lee had the tool prior to his photo-related controversy that led him to step down. Same goes for Anthony Weiner, another Congressman who left office after a photo firestorm.
According to Snapchat's website, one billion snaps have been exchanged since the app was originally launched in July. The snaps, however, can remain.
Experts said there are computer programs designed to retain Snaps without knowledge of the person who took the picture. iPhone users can also take a screen shot of the image, though doing so will show the sender that the shot was taken. There are more conventional means of keeping a Snapchat image.
"The problem of course is that doesn't prevent one from using another camera phone (or) another camera," said Mike Johansson, an RIT professor and social media expert.
Sam Taylor is a high school student who began using Snapchat within the last few months.
"I only use it with like two friends," said Taylor.
Her mother knew of Snapchat, but very little about it.
With concerns some have raised about sexting among young people, Lisa Taylor said Snapchat is something she will have to carefully discuss with her daughter.
"It's a problem now that kids have to face with that sort of thing, with boys and boys asking for things," said Taylor.
Johansson said that is exactly what parents should do.
"I think it's really a teachable moment," said Johansson. "Privacy of anything on the web is not guaranteed."