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article imageWith data breaches hitting SnapChat, a new rival emerges in Wickr

By Michael Krebs     Feb 17, 2014 in Business
As security issues continue to plague the SnapChat mobile photo sharing application, a rival service appears ready to exploit the weakness.
SnapChat, the mobile photo-sharing application wildly popular with teens and younger social media consumers, has been experiencing significant data breaches and has demonstrated an inability to control the problem.
The mobile photo-sharing application market is a robust one. Twitter (TWTR) recently entered the space to compete with Instagram, and the instant-view space developed by SnapChat is proving to be one that has held investor attention.
In January, SnapChat acknowledged the theft of 4.6 million usernames and passwords, as CNBC reported, a data breach that raised flags among potential investors.
SnapChat's inability to protect its customers was showcased further when a hacker operating out of Georgia Tech broke through the service's firewalls in less than 30 minutes, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday.
While SnapChat has already received more than $123 million in venture capital, and its 23 year-old co-founder has rejected a $3 billion offer from Facebook and a $4 billion offer from Google, the instability on the security question is a notable issue for future investment prospects.
The SnapChat security concerns have not just caught the attention of the investment community, the perceived weakness appears to have bolstered the prospects of Wickr, an emerging SnapChat competitor, according to a CNBC report.
Nico Sell, CEO of Wickr, has experienced a 50 percent growth spurt in the wake of SnapChat's security glitches. Sell believes his users are coming to his service because Wickr, which was built by a team of security experts, provides users with a more secure method for communication.
"For Snapchat, it's really about having a minimal-viable-product attitude. It's the way companies have always been built, where security is an afterthought," Sell told CNBC. "But we believe that the companies that will thrive over the next 10 years are the ones who build security into the product from the ground up."
More about snapchat, Data breach, wickr, Social media, photo sharing
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