Snapchat adds to protective measures for younger users

Snapchat has announced new features to further protect 13-17 year olds from potential online risks. These features, which will begin to roll out in the coming weeks, are designed to protect teens from being contacted by people they may not know in real life; provide a more age-appropriate viewing experience on Snapchat’s content platform; and enable it to more effectively remove accounts that may be trying to market and promote age-inappropriate content, through a new strike system and new detection technologies. 

In addition, Snapchat is releasing new resources for families, including an updated parents guide at that covers its protections for teens, its tools for parents, and a new YouTube explainer series.

In-App Warnings will send teenage users a pop-up warning if someone tries to add them as a friend when they don’t share mutual contacts or the person isn’t in their contacts. This message will urge the user to carefully consider if they want to be in contact with this person and not to connect with them if it isn’t someone they trust. 

It is also introducing stronger friending protections. Snapchat already requires a 13-to-17-year-old to have several mutual friends in common with another user before they can show up in Search results or as a friend suggestion. Going forward, it will require a greater number of friends in common based on the number of friends a user has, with the goal of further reducing the ability for teens and to connect with people they may not already be friends with. 

Snapchat is also releasing new in-app content that helps explain the risks posed by things like catfishing, financial sextortion, and the taking and sharing of explicit images, and shares resources for users, such as hotlines to contact for help. This content will be featured on Snapchat’s Stories platform, and surfaced to users via relevant Search terms or keywords.