Snapchat launched a new in-app tool on Tuesday that allows parents to monitor who their children are chatting with without allowing guardians to view the content of private chats.
Parents will be able to see which Snapchat friends have sent their children messages, photos, or videos in the last week in the new family center. Parents will also be able to report any suspicious or concerning accounts to Snapchat’s trust and safety teams, according to the company.
Snapchat’s decision is part of a growing trend of social media companies attempting to address real-world relationships and safety on a digital level.
“Parents usually know who their teens’ friends are and when they hang out, but they don’t listen in on their private conversations. Our goal is to empower parents and teens while still protecting a teen’s autonomy and privacy,” the company’s statement read.
Users must be at least 13 years old to join Snapchat, and only users aged 18 and up can access the Family Centre.
Unlike Instagram’s ‘Family Center,’ Snapchat’s tool will not allow parents to limit the amount of time their children can spend on the app or how long they have been active on the platform.
“Our Family Center feature will help parents gain a better understanding of who their teens’ Snapchat friends are, fostering positive conversations about online safety within families while respecting teens’ privacy and autonomy,” 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.