June 24, 2017 Update: SnapMap is their latest feature, which uses your Bitmoji on a map to show everyone where you are. It’s a potential nightmare for protecting kids from predators. Here’s how to turn it off.
June 29, 2017 Update: Custom geofilters can now be created within the app for your events. Instead of going through a web browser, users can now create the geofilters easily through Snapchat’s built-in mobile creative studio that lets you add filters, text, stickers, and Bitmojis. Geofilters attached to an event are a location giveaway, which should cause concern.
February 13, 2018 Update: Users can now share Stories to other social media platforms via text or email, which means non Snap users can view content through a web page. And, if the Story was posted from an original account, anyone can share it with a link to the web page. This feature may offer ease of use and streamline some of the posting process, but it also makes the split-second, bad decision posts on the app more concerning. Now those moments will be even more readily available for more eyes to see.
Description: Users “snap” an image or video, add a caption, and send it to friends, who can view the photo for a specified period of time before it disappears. With the July 6, 2016 update described above, it is becoming more like Facebook every day.
Category: Photo/Media Share, Social Networking
APP Store rating: 12+ (“infrequent/mild alcohol, tobacco, drug, mature/suggestive themes, profanity or crude humor, sexual content and nudity”). Users are supposed to be at least 13, in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Parents should take extreme caution when deciding if their tweens or young teens are able to handle the temptations this app presents. Snapchat’s own rules say users must be 13+, this feels more like a 15+ app.
If you want extra assurance, then the Bark solution can monitor for inappropriate words used in Snapchat, sending alerts to parents (assuming you know their account information). Pretty cool!