Aug 10, 2022 - Technology

Snapchat introduces parental controls

Image: Snapchat

Snapchat on Tuesday unveiled a new Family Center within its app that's designed to give parents deeper insights into who their teens communicate with.

Why it matters: The Family Center is meant to reflect real-world interactions between kids and parents. It makes it easier for parents to understand who their kids talk to without revealing their conversations.

The big picture: It's part of a wider effort by social media firms to give parents more visibility into their kids' online activity.

  • TikTok added content filters and a rating system last month to prevent kids from seeing content too mature for their ages.
  • Instagram rolled out parental controls in March.

Details: The Family Center allows parents to view new contacts their teens have added to their Snapchat friends list from the app downloaded to their phones.

  • The Family Center will also provide resources to parents and their teens to guide them through typically difficult conversations about online safety.
  • Parents will also be able to confidentially report any concerning friend accounts directly to Snapchat's Trust and Safety teams through the app downloaded on their phones.

The big picture: Snapchat is designed to protect its users' privacy broadly. Anyone under the age of 18 has to be mutual friends with a contact before they can start communicating on the app. Friend lists are private and teens are not allowed to have public profiles.

What's next: In the coming months, Snapchat will add the ability for teens to notify their parents when they flag a concerning account on the app.

  • It will also roll out controls for parents to filter for potentially more mature content on Snapchat's content tabs, Discover and Spotlight. Discover is curated by Snapchat, and Spotlight content goes through a manual review.
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