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Facebook takes notice as Snapchat continues growth and unveils Galaxy Gear app

If you thought Snapchat was just a passing fad for tweens, you might want to think again. The self-destructing message app has caught on in a big way.

At this point, Snapchat users are sending more than 350 million photos through the service every day, according to Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel. That figure is up from 150 million daily photo shares in April and 200 million in June.

Spiegel announced the latest milestone at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco this week. And he has good reason to boast. To put it into perspective, users post an average of 55 million photos to the uber-popular Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram every day, according to Instagram's press site.

Snapchat, which first launched for iOS devices in September 2011 and on Android in February, lets users send photo or video messages to friends that last for only a few seconds. Users set a time limit for how long the recipient can view the message, up to 10 seconds, before it's wiped from the app.

Facebook in December made a play to capitalise on the success of Snapchat by launching a similar app called Poke, which also lets users send messages that expire after a few seconds. Despite the competition, Snapchat is still going strong.

"It's certainly scary when a giant enters your space," Spiegel said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We now talk about it as the greatest Christmas present we ever got."

He added that Snapchat has not received any acquisition offers from Facebook, but the companies have "talked a few times."

At the moment, Snapchat seems focused on growing its presence. The company this week released a new app for the just-unveiled Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, dubbed Snapchat Micro, which lets users send messages right from their wrists, according to TechCrunch.