Snapchat has finally launched its Family Center, which lets parents monitor who their teens are chatting to and engaging with on the app.
The addition has been in the workings for quite some time and comes on the back of growing criticism over the dangers of social media use for young kids and children.
“Creating a safe and positive experience for them is critical to this mission. While we want our platform to be safe for all members of our community, we have extra protections in place for teenagers,” Snapchat wrote.
The Family Center wants to help parents understand how their kids engage in-app but at the same time has protections in place that mean parents cannot eavesdrop on conversations.
It’s designed to let parents know whom their teens are talking to, but not spy on what they’re chatting about.
Parents can then report accounts they consider concerning to Snap’s Trust and Safety team. This won’t alert their teen to avoid them getting spotlighted in the app.
To access the tool, parents need their own Snapchat account. They can then access the Family Center dashboard.
Teens still need to accept an invitation from their parents to join the Family Center dashboard.
“This fall, we plan on adding additional features to Family Center, including new content controls for parents and the ability for teens to notify their parents when they report an account or a piece of content to us. While we closely moderate and curate both our content and entertainment platforms, and don’t allow unvetted content to reach a large audience on Snapchat, we know each family has different views on what content is appropriate for their teens and want to give them the option to make those personal decisions.”
While the addition is a valuable tool to safeguard teens from negative engagements and experiences on the app, it could backfire for Snap.
Snapchatters are unlikely to welcome the addition and some may consider it too intrusive and flock to other apps.