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Snapchat Android beta goes live, then self-destructs

The updated Android app, which was available in private beta for a short period of time, delivers video messages.

The long-awaited update for a Snapchat video-messaging app for Android was available briefly last night.

Snapchat announced last night that it would allow people to download its private beta Android application. However, the application was only made available for a few hours and can no longer be downloaded from the company's site. Those who were able to access the program needed to force their Android handsets to install non-market apps.

Snapchat currently offers an Android and iOS application. However, the program only allows for the sharing of photos. The Snapchat update for Android lets people send video clips to each other. After a short, set time, those video clips will self-destruct.

Over the last year, Snapchat has made a huge splash in the startup community. The application has been criticized by some for facilitating sexting, but the company has argued that it frees people from perfection and delivers the "allure of fleeting messages" by forcing images to self-destruct after a set time.

Last week, The New York Times reported that Snapchat raised $13.5 million in venture funding led by Benchmark Capital. The cash infusion values Snapchat at around $60 million.

Facebook reportedly met with the Snapchat team in December. Not long after, Facebook launched its own Snapchat competitor called Poke. Despite the increased competition, Snapchat has been performing quite well -- 60 million messages are being sent via Snapchat each day, according to the Times.

Snapchat hasn't said when its updated Android application will officially launch in the Google Play marketplace.

(Via TechCrunch)