There have been several cases where teens have sent photos over these applications, expecting them to disappear or be seen by the recipient only, yet are saved and distributed, carrying social and legal implications.
Even though users believe their photos on Snapchat for example will go away in seconds, it is easy to save them through other photo capturing technology, third party applications, or simple screenshots.
The difference between using these applications and traditional texting is that content is transmitted over the Internet or a data plan, allowing anyone with Internet access to participate.
Kik and Whats App appeal to teens because of the anonymity of the applications.
Sexting is sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones.
The term was first popularized in the early 21st century, and is a portmanteau of sex and texting, where the latter is meant in the wide sense of sending a text possibly with images.
Whether sexting is seen as a positive or negative experience typically rests on the basis of whether or not consent was given to share the images.
Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.
Snapchat appeals to teens because it allows users to send photos for a maximum of ten seconds before they self-destruct.
Those sending photos over Snapchat believe they will disappear without consequences so they feel more secure about sending them.
Young adults use the medium of the text message much more than any other new media to transmit messages of a sexual nature.
As a result of sexting being a relatively recent practice, ethics are still being established by both those who engage in it and those who create legislation based on this concept.
most media coverage fixates on negative aspects of adolescent usage.
While film cameras often required a dark room to process negatives, modern camera phones can record sexually explicit images and videos in privacy.