If you have tweens or teens, you know about Snapchat

If you have tweens or teens, you know about Snapchat

Is Snapchat safe for kids? How does gay hookup sites Saint John it work? And what’s with Snapstreaks? Everything curious parents need to know about this ultra-popular app.

And if you can’t figure out how it works, you’re like many parents. One of the most popular social media apps out there, Snapchat gives kids and teens what they really want: a simple way to share everyday moments while simultaneously making them look awesome. And unlike Facebook and Twitter, which record and broadcast everything you do, Snapchat uses messages that are meant to disappear (learn more about how they actually don’t). Like so many social media apps, Snapchat is a mixed bag, so it’s a good idea to understand how it works, how your kids use it, and how much time they spend on it so you can make sure their experiences are positive.

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Snapchat

Something about snapping, sharing, and then quickly moving on from life’s little moments has massive appeal for kids. And for the most part, that’s what they use Snapchat for. But the app offers a lot more stuff, including games, news and entertainment, quizzes, and even serialized shows from top pop-culture brands.

With a constantly updated supply of photo filters, effects, and fun features, Snapchat feels like a party. But the app poses some risks: Snap Map lets friends see each other’s location on a map, which isn’t always safe; Snapstreaks requires kids to exchange messages for as long as possible, which is a major time-suck; Discover offers some age-inappropriate content; and Quick Add allows kids to connect with a wide circle of strangers. With your guidance on privacy, safety, social media pressure, and marketing, though, Snapchat can be a fun way for teens to connect. Check out our full review to get the whole scoop.

Snapchat is a popular messaging app that lets users exchange pictures and videos (called snaps) that are meant to disappear after they’re viewed. It’s advertised as a «new type of camera» because the essential function is to take a picture or video, add filters, lenses, or other effects and share them with friends.

All you need to sign up is your name, an email address, and your birth date. On Snapchat, users go by a handle, and Snapchatters gravitate toward silly names. To add friends, you can upload your contacts or search for people you know. You can also automatically add someone by taking a picture of their «Snapcode,» a special QR code unique to each user.

After that, things get a little confusing. On Snapchat, photos — not text — usually start the communication. To begin a conversation, you tap the big camera circle and take a snap. There are all sorts of photo-editing tools (you have to experiment to figure out what they do) as well as filters to adorn your images. Once you customize your snap, you can send it to anyone on your friends list, add it to your story (which is a record of the day that your friends can view for 24 hours), and add it to Snap Map (which displays your photo on a map of your location that can be viewed by anyone on Snapchat).

Snapchat provides several options for texting and managing photos. In addition to individual texting, Snapchat also offers group texting and group stories that everyone in a group can contribute to. You can delete the text messages you send, though in a group chat the other people will see that you’ve deleted something. In terms of Snaps, you can delete unopened ones that use a saved picture (not taken on the spot). You can’t delete snaps that include pictures you just took (and didn’t save).

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