APP Update 2: Snapchat

8th February 2018

Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share funny or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways.

What parents need to know:

-It's a myth that Snaps go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. (For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears.) Snaps can also be recovered after the ten seconds is up.

-The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing inappropriate images of themselves or others.

-There's a lot of iffy, clicky content. Snapchat's 'Discover' feature offers a grab-bag of articles, videos, and quizzes from magazine publishers, TV networks, and online sources mostly about pop culture, celebrities, and relationships.

- If Snap Map is enabled, the location of the user can easily be identified by friends and strangers. This introduces a level of vulnerability.

LEGAL AGE: 13+