According to GigaOm, photo-texting app SnapChat will soon raise $8m in venture capital funding in a round led by Benchmark, the same fund that that backed Instagram in its early days.
All indications are that SnapChat is taking off: The service claims that 1,000 photos are shared every second. But the app has serious issues, both in terms of concept and execution. The time-sensitive photo display gives the impression of privacy, but it’s easy to take a screenshot on the iPhone (the photo’s sender is notified that you have done so). More worryingly, a report by BuzzFeed pointed out that SnapChat automatically creates public profiles for its users, on which their most-snapped friends are fully visible — a horrifying prospect for an app used widely for sexting.
It should be no surprise that in the weeks preceding this rumored funding round, a site called “SnapChat Sluts” appeared on Tumblr, populated with nude photos of women taken from the app.
Just a reminder that VC funding is often more attracted to large user bases than it is afraid of controversy — or mindful of privacy.