The new tool, called Family Center, promises to give parents more insight into who their teenagers are communicating with on the messaging app — without divulging the content of those conversations. Parents must create their own Snapchat account, and teens have to opt-in and give permission for them to use the feature.
“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,” the company said in a blog post.
While this is Snapchat’s first foray into parental controls, it did have a few existing safety measures for young users, such as requiring teens to be mutual friends before they can start communicating with each other and prohibiting them from having public profiles.
Snap said it plans to add more features to Family Center in the coming months. Some of the new tools will include the ability for parents to see which new friends their teens have added, allow them to confidentially report concerning accounts that may be interacting with their child, and give younger users the option to notify their parents when they report an account or piece of content. The company said it consulted online safety experts in developing the features.