Managing Disclosure through Social Media: How Snapchat is Shaking Boundaries of Privacy Perceptions

Justin C. Velten, Rauf Arif, Delane Moehring


The rise of online human communication tools commonly referred to as social media apps are changing the dynamics of interpersonal relationships through self-disclosure and privacy management. However, little scholarly research is speaking to the broader role of social media as a method of privacy management in the context of interpersonal relationships. Therefore, this study focuses on Snapchat, a smartphone photo-share app and its influences on privacy management and privacy boundaries centered around the process of building and strengthening relationships through disclosure of private information. Using qualitative interview technique, results from 75 Snapchat users led to the identification and discussion of three categories related to Communication Privacy Management Theory: privacy ownership, privacy control, and privacy turbulence. Finally, this investigation explores and describes a new way in which scholars can view Snapchat through McLuhan’s claim that the medium is the message.



Snapchat, Privacy, Privacy Boundaries, Ownership, Control, Turbulence, Social Media

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