16 Mar Everything you need to know about Snapchat
If you have tweens or teens, you know about Snapchat. And if you can’t figure out how it works, you’re probably over 25. One of the most popular social media apps out there, Snapchat gives kids and teens what they really want: a simple way to share everyday moments while simultaneously making them look awesome. And unlike Facebook and Twitter, which record and broadcast everything you do, Snapchat uses messages that are meant to disappear (learn more about how they actually don’t). Like so many social media apps, Snapchat is a mixed bag, so it’s a good idea to understand how it works, how your kids use it and how much time they spend on it so you can make sure their experiences are positive.
Something about snapping, sharing and then forgetting about life’s little moments has massive appeal for kids. And for the most part, that’s what they use Snapchat for. The app has a lighthearted design, and its photo filters and effects tend toward rainbows and flower crowns. But other features pose some risks: Snap Map lets friends see each other’s location on a map, which isn’t always safe; Snapstreaks requires kids to exchange messages for as long as possible, which is a major time-suck; and Discover offers some age-inappropriate content. With your guidance on privacy, safety, social media pressure and marketing, though, Snapchat can be a fun way for teens to connect.
In addition to letting you connect with and follow friends, Snapchat offers a lot more cool stuff: games, news and entertainment, quizzes and truly innovative photo- and video-editing tools (so innovative, in fact, it’s nearly impossible for grown-ups to figure them out-another reason kids love it)
Snapchat is a popular messaging app that lets users exchange pictures and videos (called snaps) that are meant to disappear after they’re viewed. It’s advertised as a “new type of camera” because the essential function is to take a picture or video, add filters, lenses or other effects and share them with friends.
All you need to sign up is your name, an email address and your birth date. On Snapchat, users go by a handle, and Snapchatters gravitate toward silly names. To add friends, you can upload your contacts or search for people you know. You can also automatically add someone by taking a picture of their “Snapcode,” a special QR code unique to each user. After that, things get a little confusing. On Snapchat, photos-not text-usually start the communication. To begin a conversation, you tap the big camera circle and take a snap. There are all sorts of photo-editing tools (you have to experiment to figure out what they do) as well as filters to adorn your images. Once you customize your snap, you can send it to anyone in your friends list or add it to your story, which is a record of the day that your friends can view for 24 hours. Snapchat also offers group texting and group stories that everyone in the group can contribute to.
Before sending a sexy or embarrassing snap of themselves or someone else, it’s important to remember that the picture could circulate the school by tomorrow morning
According to the terms of service, users must be 13. You have to enter your birth date to set up an account, but there’s no age verification, so it’s easy for kids under 13 to sign upmon Sense Media rates Snapchat OK for teens 16 and up, mainly because of the exposure to age-inappropriate content and the marketing ploys, such as quizzes, that collect data.
It depends. If you set a time limit on a snap, it will disappear after it’s viewed. However, recipients can take a screenshot of an image using their phones or a third-party screen-capture app. A phone screen-capture will notify the sender that the image was captured. But third-party apps don’t trigger a notification. For these reasons, it’s best teens understand that nothing done online is really temporary.