Snapchat’s rolling out some new safety enhancements for young users, including new warnings on potentially suspicious contacts, improved mitigation measures to stop accounts from sharing age-inappropriate content, and new resources for users and parents to help combat in-app risks.
First off, Snap’s adding warning labels on accounts that seek to connect with teen users that they don’t know.
As you can see in this example, now, when a user that has no mutual contacts tries to connect with a young user on Snap, the recipient will see a pop-up alerting them that this person is a stranger.
Snapchat already requires users under the age of 17 to have several mutual friends in common (based on their existing contacts or phone numbers on their device) before they can show up in search results or as a friend suggestion. And now, Snap will also expand this same back-end process to these new warning alerts, which could help youngsters avoid unwanted attention in the app.
Which, given the sometimes more risqué nature of Snap’s disappearing messages, is probably a good thing, and will at the least give teens a moment of pause before adding new connections.
Snapchat’s also implemented a strike system for accounts that promote inappropriate content to youngsters.
“Under this system, we immediately remove inappropriate content that we proactively detect or that gets reported to us. If we see that an account is repeatedly trying to circumvent our rules, we will ban it.”
The process will essentially implement stronger penalties for those that fail to adhere to Snap’s rules, which will make it more risky for profiles to promote such in the app.
You can learn more about Snapchat’s new Strike System here
Finally, Snap’s also launching some new explainers, for parents and teens, that will seek to highlight the risks of online connection.
The new overviews will include explainers like this, along with written guides, and links to external resources for extra assistance.
Snap will feature the new overviews in its Parents’ Guide and on its YouTube channel, while they’ll also be displayed when users search for relevant keywords in the app, giving people various access points for its explainers.
Given its popularity with young audiences, this is a key area of focus for Snap, ensuring greater protection for youngsters, while also connecting them through to additional support, if they need.
And with regular reports of inappropriate contact in the app, it makes sense for Snap to continue enhancing its safety elements.
Though it could also be that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is becoming more wary of the risks, as he’s now a father of three, with a fourth on the way. Maybe, that immediacy has added to his awareness, though Snap has continued to enhance and improve its safety features over time.