Snapchat is introducing a new in-app tool to enable parents to get more insights on 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 teen add them on Snapchat. Parents will then be able to confidentially report any concerning accounts connected with their child using the ‘Family Center’.
‘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,’ Snapchat said in a blog post announcing the tool.
‘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,’ said Snapchat.
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.
The new feature comes at a time when the company is reportedly planning layoffs after delivering disappointing earnings results and didn’t forecast earnings for the third quarter.
It’s unclear how many of Snap’s more than 6,000 employees will be laid off but they will be joining other tech companies like Twitter, TikTok and Meta that have recently announced layoffs or paused hiring.
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