What is Snapchat? A Guide for Parents

Jill Holtz

May 12, 2014


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Have you been wondering what is Snapchat? Worried about your teen using Snapchat? Here is a quick guide to Snapchat for parents:

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What is Snapchat

We asked Michelle Frawley from Social Savvy to tell us a bit about Snapchat:

snapchatSnapchat is a photo- and video-sharing app with a twist. The media you send disappear seconds after they’re viewed—you get to decide how long a photo will “live,” from 1 to 10 seconds, after it’s viewed.

Users love the spontaneity of that—it feels like socializing that’s (digital) footprint-free—but  there are ways to capture and recover images, so no one should develop a false sense of “security” about that.

Snapchat runs on the Apple iPhone and Android phones but it also runs on iPad, Android tablets and iPod Touch, which are often used by very young children. It was developed as an antidote to “traditional” social networking services, where images can stay around forever and people have to worry about self-presentation and reputations.

snapchatscreen1Snapchat users feel like they don’t have to worry if they’re having a bad hair day or just want to make a silly face. This can mean that their inhibitions are lowered while using the app and sending more inappropriate photos than they would normally share with friends.

Some of the new Snapchat features are a broadcast feature which means that the image you share goes out to your network of friends for a set period of time.

Snapchat have just launched a chat feature on their app service which means teens are more likely to adopt this as a form of communication.

You may also find these useful – A Parents Guide to Fling App & Parents Guide to Instagram

Things parents and teens should be aware of:

1) Although photos are set to “dissolve”, the person opening has ample time to take a screenshot of the image.
2) The anonymous nature of the app means that anyone can set up an account under a false name and we should encourage our children only to add people they already know very well in real life.
3) The minimum age limit for Snapchat is 13 years of age.
4) Remember don’t share images that you would not like to see again.

May also find this useful –  Advice for Parents on Cyber-Bullying & 11 Apps and Sites to be Aware Of

More Tips about Snapchat

Mykidstime asked Greg Fry, parent and social media practitioner, to create a series of videos with Practical Internet Safety advice for Parents. In this series he give us tips and advice on Snapchat.

Intro: What is Snapchat?

Make Sure only Real Friends can send Messages

How to Block a User on Snapchat

Beware Images May Reappear

How to Report Inappropriate Behaviour on Snapchat

Video 6 – How to Delete a Snapchat Account

May also find these useful – Parent’s Guide to Social Media Sites Popular with Kids & Ultimate Technology Guide for Kids & parents

Have you any thoughts on Snapchat? Share them with us in the comments below.

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