Snapchat is bringing an initial set of parental controls to users in India – a few months later debut in the United States and some other markets – to provide parents and guardians with important foreign-market insights into how their teens are using social networking apps.
The in-app tool, called Family Hub, allows parents and guardians to see who their teens are friends with on the social app and who they’ve messaged with in the past seven days . (They can’t see the exact content of those messages.) It also gives the ability to report safety concerns and potential abuse to Snap’s Trust and Safety team for review.
Parents and guardians need to install the Snapchat app on their devices and link their accounts to the minor’s account using the opt-in process to use the new feature. Once the accounts are linked, the tool can be accessed with all its controls from the Snapchat app’s Profile Settings or by searching for “family” or “family hub” from application’s Search function.
Parental controls are notable for parents and guardians with teens 13–18 years old because Snapchat is not intended for use by young people.
Snap first published the arrival of parental controls last October and their introduction in the US in August. This was followed by the launch of similar features launched by competing social networking platforms. including Meta Instagram and TikTok. However, Snap’s product is not so extensive. It doesn’t allow parents and guardians to restrict their teens from using the app after a specific time frame, such as a feature Instagram and TikTok both offer.
The Santa Monica, California-based company also did not address concerns about inappropriate behavior, such as sexual texting, on its platform with the new tool. The app’s ephemeral messages open the app to misuse and abuse.
Snapchat has introduced a number of additional measures over the years, such as requiring teens to have mutual friends before they can start chatting. Application Nor does it allow teenagers to have a public profile.
Snap says it is working with local nonprofit FXB India Suraksha and CyberPeace Foundation to launch the Family Center feature in India. The company will also work closely with both organizations to add new parental controls, the company said.
Over the coming months, Snap says it plans to bring new features to Family Center, including new parental controls. Teens will also be able to notify their parents when they report an account or piece of content to the platform.
“Snapchat is a central communication tool for so many young Indians and as our community continues to grow, we know parents and carers want additional ways to help keep them safe. all for their youth. Our new in-app Family Center tool will help parents better understand who teens are friends with on Snapchat, to help foster positive conversations about online safety while respecting respect youth privacy and autonomy,” said Uthara Ganesh, Head of Public Policy, India, Snap, in a prepared statement.
Snap is also launching mental health and bullying prevention campaigns globally to celebrate World Mental Health Day and Bullying Prevention Month. The company in India says it is partnering with non-profit organization Sangath for these campaigns.
According to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, India is an important market for Snap, where it has amassed over 109 million monthly active users. In August, Snap introduced its premium service, Snapchat +in the South Asian market.