The photo-sharing app Snapchat is not yet as popular as Facebook for social networking. But the greater privacy Snapchat may offer could motivate users to share more intimate type of content for different purposes.
"Although a small preliminary study, this is an important foray into a new communication platform," said Brenda K. Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, California.
"And with the January 2015 Snapchat update which made 'Best Friends Lists' private, one wonders if we will now see the fire of jealousy further inflamed," added Wiederhold, editor-in-chief of the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking that published the study.
For the study, authors Sonja Utz and Nicole Muscanell from Knowledge Media Research Centre in Tubingen, Germany and Cameran Khalid from Glasgow University, Scotland compared how individuals use the two social networking apps.
They also analysed whether Snapchat, with which messages disappear after only a few seconds and are typically sent to a smaller number of people, affords more private communication and intimate, personal content that could evoke greater jealousy.
They found that romantic partners on Snapchat evoked higher levels of jealousy.