Snapchat is introducing a new in-app tool to enable parents to get more insights into how their teenagers use Snapchat.
The new ‘Family Center’ feature will show parents their children’s friend list and who is communicating with them without being able to view the content of their conversations.
To use the tool, parents will need to have their teens add them on Snapchat. Parents will then be able to confidentially report any concerning accounts connected with their child using the ‘Family Center’.
What Is Family Center?
Family Center is a feature built into the Snapchat app itself, meaning that as long as you have a Snapchat account, you can use it without downloading or installing anything extra on your device.
Its purpose, according to the company, is to “help parents get more insight” into their children’s behavior on the app.
Basically, it will allow parents to see who their kids are friends with on the app and who they have communicated with over the past seven days.
Family Center gives parents a glimpse through the window of their teens’ online world. But the new view is a bit obstructed — parents cannot see the actual content of their kids’ conversations.
Snapchat said in a blog post announcing the tool;
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,’
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 Centre over time.
In the past, there have been multiple instances of people grooming underage girls on Snapchat.
A number of other social media platforms have introduced tools that enable parents to see more of what their children do on their sites as part of efforts to improve safety.
In February, Facebook announced parental control features that would allow parents to see their children’s chat history on Facebook’s Messenger app.
Snapchat also confirmed that it was publishing a new range of resources to help parents and children have open conservations about online safety and that it would continue to add more features over the coming months, including new content control tools for parents.