It's called Snapchat.
Through sending a quick image, it offers another way to communicate.
Your recipient is only supposed to see the image for up to ten seconds.
13-year-old Snapchat user Madison Pickrel explains it. "You just like take pictures of yourself and then you can type a message and send it to somebody."
Its target audience is tweens, high schoolers and twenty-somethings.
What lures many users in is the idea that its images disappear. They said they can send any type of picture, and knowing that it will go away is what makes it fun.
Snapchat user Christian Lane said, "I mean, it's just endless possibilities."
User Trent Weston said, "It's just a different way to text message I guess, to keep it interesting."
User Melissa Chanto said, "Sometimes I'll make a really silly face and I don't want them looking at it too hard because I don't have make-up on so, five seconds, you can't do much with it so it's just for the fun of it."
However, for parents, the capabilities of Snapchat can be frightening.
User Kayla Hinthorne understands why. She said, "Parents don't really know what they're taking pictures of or what they're doing so it could be quite scary for parents."
Parent John Kleinsteiber said he communicates openly with his children so they can avoid problems. He said, "It only takes one moment of indiscretion and you could be branded for life, really."
Here's how it works - you open the app, take a picture, and then decide how long you'll let your recipient see it. What many users don't take into consideration is that you can take a screen shot. That allows you to save the image just like a normal picture, with a life span that could last forever.
Snapchat user Kaitlyn Harnett said it's important to be responsible with the app. She said, "I think it's definitely a responsibility just like Facebook or texting, obviously there's sexting everywhere and things like that and that's a danger for people. They need to realize OK, you can take a screen shot and this could go viral."
High school junior Mikayla Sutton doesn't use the app. She said, "It could be bad in some situations, you know it's pictures. Sometimes pictures tell stories that don't need to be out there."
If you Google search Snapchat or use the hash tag on Twitter, you'll see thousands of snaps. Proving that while many users believe it is a fleeting message, it can actually leave a permanent, digital imprint.
Director of Prevention Education at the Center of Prevention of Abuse Paul Monrad said parents need to help their kids understand the potential consequences that an app like Snapchat can have. He said, "It's so exciting to them that I don't believe they see the inherent danger. It just comes through knowledge like what we're doing right now, really exposing their inherent dangers and you know, the potential harm it can do to students and children."
Associate Professor for the Department of Interactive Media at Bradley University Jim Ferolo said all technology has a loophole. He said, "You have to understand that there's always going to be work arounds or hacks that people could leverage that would bypass any security measure that a company might put in place."
The app has millions of users. Many said it's not going away any time soon.
But experts hope many young users won't snap something that will come back to haunt them.
If you need help dealing with your child and social media, we have listed tips from our experts.
- Talk to your kids about what is appropriate to post to a social network. Help them understand that if they didn't want to present the same material while standing in front of their classmates and teachers, that it probably isn't suitable for posting to their social network.
- Keep an open dialogue with them regarding their use of social media.
- Take time to learn about the social networks that your children use, how they have set up their accounts on those networks and whether they are age appropriate.
- Consider joining some social networks and learn about specific privacy settings and share your knowledge with your kids to make sure they understand who can view their social content.
- Surf the Internet with your child and let them show you what they like to do online.
- Discuss the safety issues that the Internet as a whole presents regarding child predators.
- Try to explain the permanence of social media content. Even though providers may have content deletion policies, that doesn't preclude other users from storing data about users indefinitely.
- If you are not confident with your children's ability to moderate their content due to age or behaviors, consider monitoring their accounts or installing parental monitoring software.
- Establish limits for which online sites your child is visiting and for how long.
- Keep your computer in a high-traffic area of your home.