Snapchat launches tool to help parents monitor who their kids are chatting withtext_fields
Snapchat is rolling out parental controls that allow parents to see their teenager's contacts and report to the social media company — without their child's knowledge — any accounts that may worry them.
The goal, executives say, is to enable parents to monitor their child's connections without compromising teens' autonomy. Named Family Center, the new suite of tools released Tuesday requires both caregiver and teen to opt-in.
"It allows parents to see who's in their teen's universe," said Nona Farahnik, director of platform policy for Snap, the company that makes Snapchat. "It offers parents the ability to ask who someone might be, how they might know a contact, which prompts those kinds of real-time conversations about who teens are talking to."
Farahnik says Family Center is modeled on real-life parenting.
Children will also be able to see how their parents see them via the Snapchat 'Family Center' feature, which has been rolled out in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with other countries to follow soon.
Parents and guardians will be able to see kids' friends list, which accounts they've been communicating with within the past week, and directly report suspicious accounts to Snapchat.
"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," the company said in a statement.
Unlike Instagram's 'Family Center,' Snapchat's tool will not allow parents to set time limits for kids to use the app or how long they have been active on the platform.
However, Snapchat will add similar features in the near future with more control for parents on content.
"Our Family Center feature will help parents get more insight into who their teens are friends with on Snapchat, helping foster positive conversations about online safety within families, while respecting the privacy and autonomy of teens," said Kathryn Carter, Snap's APAC general manager.
"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," Snap added.