Snapchat Launches New Parental Controls To Monitor Kids’ Use

Snapchat parental controls just launched via the apps Family Center, giving parents a means to monitor their child's activity.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Snapchat parental controls

As social media continues to grow in popularity, so does the concern over its use among kids from concerned parents. However, these matters aren’t necessarily new to today’s world, as online messaging has existed and worried parents since the times of AOL Instant Messenger decades ago. Understanding all of this, Snapchat just launched parental controls.

Yesterday, the popular messaging app released these new features for parents to take advantage of. The company prides its new control design as an innovative way to find a balance between keeping teens’ affairs autonomous while giving caregivers the ability to keep an eye on their childrens’ online activity. Snapchat parental controls mirrors recent updates by other favored social media apps, as a growing need to keep children safe from online predators and explicit content continues. 

According to reports from NPR, the company’s director of platform policy, Nona Farahnik, praised the new Snapchat parental controls for mirroring real life-parenting styles. Within the new controls under the applications Family Center, families can see who their teens add as friends to the app. Anyone under 18 can not interact with other users they are not friends currently friends with. Farahnik referenced teenagers going to the mall to compare how this monitoring technique resembles real-life models. To this, she noted that a parent will remind their kids about safety when dropping them off for a shopping trip, but they don’t necessarily follow them and listen in on their conversations.

So how exactly do parents take advantage of these new Snapchat parental control tools? To start, adults will need to download the app to their mobile devices, if they don’t already have it. From there, they can link their account to their teens with an online code generator. Next, guardians can initiate the Family Center tool from the settings tab. Once this is configured, parents can review accounts that their children have engaged in conversations with during the past seven days, but they won’t be able to view the messages.

What’s more, the new Snapchat parental control features will give parents the option to report any potential abuse to the company’s Trust & Safety team to be reviewed. Also, the new Family Center comes equipped with resourceful guides that can walk parents through how to have commonly coined difficult conversations about online safety with their teens. In the next coming months, Snap plans to release added features as well, like a filter setting that will allow parents to block mature content from being displayed on the apps Discover and Spotlight feature.

Snapchat parental controls

The new Snapchat parental controls join movements found on other popular social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, which have similarly enacted wider monitoring support for youth use. As social media increasingly is reported to be a tool for inappropriate content to be exposed to adolescent eyes, more efforts are being backed calling for more protection. Last February, Senators unveiled bipartisan legislation in Congress called the Kids Online Safety Act. While it has yet to be voted on, it would require social media apps to place strict safeguards on features for kids.