Snapchat is introducing new capabilities for its Family Center tool that give parents more visibility and control over their teens’ activity within the app. Announced today and rolling out in the coming weeks, the latest Family Center additions aim to promote open conversations around online safety.
The key update is that parents can now view their teen’s privacy and safety settings directly in Snapchat. This grants visibility into who teens are sharing their stories with – either their full friends list or a smaller circle of close friends and family. Parents will also be informed of their teen’s contact settings, dictating who can reach out to them on Snapchat. Contact settings limit messaging to existing friends or friends plus phone contacts.
Additionally, parents can see if their teen has location sharing enabled on Snap Map. This opt-in feature lets friends view each other’s locations and activities. Parents will know if their teen is using it and with whom.
Beyond visibility, the latest Family Center gives parents more oversight of their teen’s use of My AI, Snapchat’s AI-powered chatbot. Parents can restrict their teen’s ability to engage with My AI entirely. This builds on existing safeguards Snapchat has implemented for the bot, like blocking harmful responses and limiting usage if misused.
Snapchat has also focused the update on making Family Center more discoverable, especially for parents less acquainted with Snapchat. Parents can now easily access Family Center from their profile, search, and settings. The goal is to simplify joining Family Center for those new to the app.
The slate of new features provides enhanced parental visibility and control, aiming to empower parents to have constructive conversations around online safety. Snapchat says it developed Family Center using feedback from families and safety experts. The latest additions deliver on calls for greater visibility and oversight based on their input.
Snapchat first launched Family Center in 2022 as a way for parents to view their teen’s Snapchat connections, flag concerns, and manage content restrictions. The new functionalities build on these foundations at a time when parental controls are increasingly expected from social apps. For Snapchat, robust family tools present an opportunity to bring parents into the platform while potentially growing its younger user base.