TODAY   |  February 12, 2013

Snapchat CEO aims to ‘change how people communicate’

Evan Spiegel, 22, created Snapchat in 2011 with a fellow Stanford student. As the app skyrockets in popularity, Spiegel talks to NBC’s Diana Alvear about why it appeals to users and addresses parental concerns about sexting.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back at 7:43 with the young creators of the photo-sharing app snap chat. embarrassing shots don't have to go on your permanent record. diana alvear is at snap chat's headquarters in venice, california. good morning to you.

>> reporter: savannah, good morning. how many of us have had a photo end up on facebook , instagram or any other social media site and we weren't thrilled with it? what if i told you that it could just disappear? that is the concept behind snap chat. it's a hot new app. we'll show you how it works but first how it all got started.

>> no, no, delete!

>> if you want to know why snap chat is so hot --

>> i love that you don't have to care that much about what you're sending.

>> reporter: what they love even more --

>> and it's gone.

>> reporter: that it disappears after a few seconds.

>> it's much better than facebook . once you put it on facebook , everyone sees it. i'll take a picture and a few weeks later i'll be like why did i post it.

>> reporter: that drove evan siegel and his best friend to decr create snap chat.

>> we really built the product for sboursz our friends and we kept hearing i have these awkward photos posted that i wish would disappear and we thought wow, i think we can build something that does that. from december 2011 to like 30,000 in january 2012 .

>> reporter: that success propelled spiegle and company out of his father's dining room . now 16 million photos are exchanged on snap chat every day, enough to have facebook create poke. isn't that a form of flattery?

>> i think so.

>> snap chat is perfect for sexting. it's easier to sext with it and it's more in real time and it has that illusion of safety.

>> on snap chat any image that you send can be saved forever whether by someone taking a photo with another camera or by taking a screen shot . it's not a great place to send photos you want to be secure.

>> reporter: made believers out of several long-term investors.

>> to change the way people communicate for the better.

>> reporter: to live in the moment.

>> that is a goofy picture.

>> reporter: the way we used to. now he has it?

>> for nine seconds.

>> that is a crazy picture.

>> reporter: all right. so i let you know that we were going to tell you how it works. i sent you a little surprise, savannah. i would like you to open it up live on air.

>> okay. that's not terrifying. here i am. oh, that's cute. it says good morning, sav annah.

>> take care of that little picture for just a little longer, because it's not going to last.

>> it just disappeared. i'm sorry to see that one go. i'm glad it wasn't a more horrifying picture. diana, thank you.