Snapchat has launched Family Centre, an in-app tool to help parents understand more about who their teens are friends with and speaking to on Snapchat, without revealing any of the substance of their conversations.
It’s 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 seeing each other – but don’t eavesdrop on their private conversations. The ability for parents to easily view new friends their teens have added will be added “in the coming weeks”, the company said in a blog post.
Parents can also use Family Centre to confidentially report any accounts that may be concerning them directly to Snap’s Trust and Safety teams. Snap said it is also equipping parents and teens with new resources to help them have constructive and open conversations about online safety.
In developing Family Centre, Snap said it worked with families and consulted with experts in online safety and wellbeing, with the goal of creating a set of tools designed to reflect the dynamics of real-world relationships and foster collaboration and trust between parents and teens.
More features will be added to Family Centre in the autumn. These include new content controls for parents and the ability for teens to notify their parents when they report an account or a piece of content to Snapchat.
"For parents, we know understanding how their teens are interacting online is important,” said Jacqueline Beauchere, Global Head of Platform Safety at Snapchat. “Our new Family Centre gives parents a window into their teen's online life and who they are messaging. We hope these tools will empower both parents and teens and boost online safety and wellbeing."