At Snap, we believe that our products should reflect real-life human behaviors, and how people act and relate to each other in their everyday lives. We’ve made it a point to build things differently from the beginning, with a focus on helping Snapchatters communicate with their close friends in an environment that prioritizes their safety, privacy, and wellbeing.
That’s why Snapchat opens directly to a Camera, not a feed of endless content, and is focused on connecting people who are already friends in real life. We have always wanted Snapchatters to be able to genuinely express themselves and have fun with their friends in the same way they would if they were hanging out in person—without the pressure to grow a following, gain views, or earn likes.
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. For example, on Snapchat:
By default, teens have to be mutual friends before they can start communicating with each other.
Friend lists are private, and we don’t allow teens to have public profiles.
And we have protections in place to make it harder for strangers to find teens. For example, teens only show up as a "suggested friend" or in search results in limited instances, like if they have mutual friends in common.
Today, Snapchat is a central communications tool for young people, and as our community continues to grow, we know parents and caregivers want additional ways to help keep their teens safe.
That’s why we’re introducing a new in-app tool called Family Center, which will help parents get more insight into who their teens are friends with on Snapchat, and who they have been communicating with, without revealing any of the substance of those conversations.
Family Center is designed to reflect the way that parents engage with their teens in the real world, where parents usually know who their teens are friends with and when they are hanging out – but don’t eavesdrop on their private conversations. In the coming weeks, we will add a new feature that will allow parents to easily view new friends their teens have added.
On Family Center, parents can also easily and confidentially report any accounts that may be concerning directly to our Trust and Safety teams, which work around the clock to help keep Snapchatters safe. We’re also equipping parents and teens with new resources to help them have constructive and open conversations about online safety.
To help develop Family Center, we worked with families to understand the needs of both parents and teens, knowing that everyone’s approach to parenting and privacy is different. We also consulted with experts in online safety and wellbeing to incorporate their feedback and insights. Our goal was to create a set of tools designed to reflect the dynamics of real-world relationships and foster collaboration and trust between parents and teens. Learn more about how to get started with Family Center by watching this explainer video:
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.
Our goal is to help empower parents and teens in a way that still protects a teenager’s autonomy and privacy. We look forward to continuing to work closely with families and online safety experts to keep improving Family Center over time. To learn more about Family Center and about how we’re working to keep teens safe on Snapchat, check out this Parent’s Guide to Snapchat.