Snapchat is bringing the first set of parental controls to users in India – months after launching in the US and other markets – to give parents and guardians important insights about foreign markets on how their teenagers use social networking apps.
The in-app tool, called Family Center, allows parents and guardians to see who a teen’s friends are on the social app and who they’ve messaged with over the past seven days. (They can’t see the exact content of these messages.) This also allows reporting security issues and potential abuse to Snap’s Trust and Safety team for review.
Parents and guardians must have the Snapchat app installed on their devices and link their accounts to the minor’s account using an 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 the app’s search feature.
Special parental controls are available to parents and guardians with teens ages 13 to 18, as Snapchat is not intended for use by young people. Snap first announced parental controls last October and introduced them to the US in August. This was followed by the launch of similar features launched by media platforms. competition, including Meta’s Instagram and TikTok.
Snap’s offerings aren’t quite as extensive, however. It doesn’t allow parents and guardians to block their teens from using the app after a specific amount of time, such as a feature offered by Instagram and TikTok. The Santa Monica, California-based company also did not address concerns about inappropriate behavior, such as sexual messaging, on its platform with the new tool. The app’s ephemeral messages open the app to misuse and misuse.
Snapchat has introduced additional measures over the years, like requiring teens to have mutual friends before they can start chatting. The app also doesn’t allow teens to have public profiles.
Snap quoted it is working with local nonprofits FXB India Suraksha and CyberPeace Foundation to launch its Family Center feature in India. It will also closely work with both organizations to add new parental controls, the company said.
In addition to it Snap said over the coming months, it plans to bring new features to Family Center, including new content controls for parents. Teens will also be able to notify their parents when they report an account or a piece of content to the platform.
Uthara Ganesh, Public Policy Head, India, Snap, in his statement said, “Snapchat is a central communications tool for so many young Indians, and as our community continues to grow, we know parents and caregivers want additional ways to help keep their teens safe. Our new in-app Family Center tool will help parents get more insight into who their teens are friends with on Snapchat, to help foster positive conversations about online safety while respecting the privacy and autonomy of teens,”