Turns out there's a way to save videos sent over Snapchat and Facebook Poke, despite claims that content sent using the apps disappear after a specified amount of time.
Users of the apps know that recipients can save pictures by taking a screenshot of them: Both apps alert senders if the recipient does exactly that.
What many users don't know is that they can do something similar for video.
As reported Thursday by BuzzFeed, users can save videos sent over Snapchat and Poke to an iPhone by using an iPhone file browser, which is software for your computer that lets you navigate through the files on your Apple smartphone.
When you receive a video file, tap to load it, but once it's loaded, do not open it. Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch the iPhone file browser.
To save Snapchat videos, go to the Snapchat app's folder and then the folder labeled "tmp." From there you can save the video by copying and pasting it to another location on your computer. It's also worth noting that once you watch videos sent to the Snapchat app, they don't disappear from the folder on the smartphone.
As for Poke, users can save files by going into the Poke app's folder, followed by folders labeled as "library," "caches," "fbstore" and "mediacard." From there, copy and paste the file.
The workaround allowing people to save videos reveals a flaw in the apps, and it's a big deal considering both essentially pitch themselves as a way to send temporary content. But that has led some to use the apps to send embarrassing pictures and videos as well as sexually explicit content.
BuzzFeed contacted both companies regarding the flaws, and they reacted quite differently.
“The people who most enjoy using Snapchat are those who embrace the spirit and intent of the service," Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel told BuzzFeed. "There will always be ways to reverse-engineer technology products — but that spoils the fun!”
"We are addressing this issue now. We should have a fix pushed shortly," Facebook told BuzzFeed.