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If you have tweens or teens, you know about Snapchat. 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 Twitterwhich 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. Something about snapping, sharing, and then quickly moving on from life's little moments has massive appeal for. 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. What is Snapchat? How does Snapchat work? How old do you have to be to use Teen girl sexy snapchat Do messages really disappear on Snapchat?
What are Snapstreaks? What's Snap Map? What's a Snapchat story? What's a Snapcode? What's Discover? What are Snapchat's other features? Is Snapchat safe for tweens and teens? How do I monitor Snapchat and use the settings?
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 up is your name, an address, and your birth date. On Snapchat, users go by a handle, and Snapchatters gravitate toward silly names. To add friends, you can 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 hoursand 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. According to the terms of serviceusers must be You have to birth date to set up anbut there's no age verification, so it's easy for kids under 13 to up.
Common Sense Media rates Snapchat OK for teens 16 and up, mainly because of the exposure to age-inappropriate content and the marketing ploys, such as quizzes, that collect data. It depends. If you set a time limit on a snap, it will disappear after it's viewed. However, recipients can take a screenshot of an image using their phones or a third-party screen-capture app. A phone screen-capture will teen girl sexy snapchat the sender that the image was captured.
But third-party apps don't trigger a notification. For these reasons, it's best that teens understand that nothing done online is really temporary. Before sending a sexy or embarrassing snap of themselves or someone else, it's important to remember that the picture could circulate the school by tomorrow morning. With a Snapstreaks, two users have snapped back and forth within a hour period for three days in a row. Once you've established a streak, special emojis and statistics display next to the streakers' names to show you how long you've maintained a streak.
Why do they matter? For one thing, they add to your overall Snapchat score basically a that reflects how much you use the app. For another, they can occasionally become the most important thing in a kid's life. Because of the intense bonds kids can form over social media, they can feel that a Snapstreak is a measure of their friendship, and if they don't keep it up they'll let the other person down. Teens have even been known to give friends access to their Snapchat s to keep a streak going if they can't do it themselves for example, if their phone gets taken away for being online too much.
This can lead to feelings of pressure, anxiety, and compulsionso it's good teen girl sexy snapchat know if your kid has streaks going to get a window into why that selfie might feel really important. Snap Map displays your location on a map teen girl sexy snapchat real time. Only your Snapchat friends can see where you are. If your friends have opted into Snap Map, you can see their locations, too. You can turn this off or use it in Ghost Mode, which allows you to see the map but not teen girl sexy snapchat seen by others.
Snap Map also features news and events from around the world -- for example, a political rally in Nicaragua, which displays as an icon on a map of the world. Kids can submit snaps to the Snap Map, and their name and location could appear on a public map. But the bigger risk with Snap Map is a teen having their location seen by all their friends -- since some of their Snapchat contacts may not be real friends. Unless there's a specific event and it makes it easier for friends to know each other's location, it's best to leave Snap Maps off or use it in Ghost Mode.
A story is a collection of moments in the form of pictures and videos that, taken together, create a narrative. After Snapchat popularized the format, other social media services, including Facebook and Instagramoffered story-creation tools, too. On Snapchat, stories appear as circles, and when you tap them, they autoplay the pictures or videos the user collected. You can create personal stories that your friends can view for a hour period. Or, if you think your Snap is particularly interesting or newsworthy, you can send it to Our Story.
Our Stories are kind of like mini-documentaries of events, holidays, game championships, or other things happening in the world on a particular day. Snaps are curated and compiled by the company. While it's cool to have your story added to Our Story, it's also very public, so kids should think carefully before submitting one.
When you up, Snapchat gives you your own unique QR code. When you meet a fellow Snapchat user and want to friend each other, you can just take a snap of the other person's code, and they're automatically added to your friends list. Because it's so easy to find friends on Snapchat depending on your settings or exchange codes, teens may end up with virtual strangers on their friends list. For a variety of reasons, that can be risky, so it's best to talk to your teen about when it's safe to add people. Discover offers content created by celebrities, news and entertainment outlets, and other users.
You can subscribe to specific Discover sources to receive their feeds. While Discover offers some legitimate news from publishers including the New York Times and Vice Media, the offerings can be promotional and are frequently mature or outlandish such as people with extreme plastic surgery or rare medical conditions.
But if your kid has ed up with their correct birth date, they'll miss the alcohol and other adult content that Snapchat filters out for underage users. Discover stories often feature promos prompting kids to "swipe up" to learn more which usually le to or take a quiz which is usually a marketing tool. This section runs the gamut from harmless to shocking, so it's good to look around and get a sense of what your kids are seeing. Snapchat is waaaay more than cute photos. The more you use the app, the more points you get and the higher your Snapchat score goes.
Snapchat awards high scorers with trophies and other perks. Here are a few other Snapchat features:. Most kids use Snapchat to goof around and stay in contact with their friends -- end of story. Yes, there's some mature content, but it's appropriate for most teens 16 and up. That said, there are three key risky areas:. The myth of disappearing messages.
When Snapchat first started, it was labeled " the sexting app " because people sent intimate photos, assuming they'd self-destruct. Any app can be misused, but a lot of kids mistakenly believe that Snapchat has a built-in Get Out of Jail Free card. Teens really need to understand that the content they share can be saved and shared and may never go away. It's teen girl sexy snapchat to have this conversation before they download Snapchat, but it's never too late.
Talk about whether any of their friends have ever pressured them to send a sexy image and discuss why someone who would do that does not have your best interests at heart. Kids should also ask permission before sharing a picture of someone else. The time suck. Snapchat is a ton of fun to use, and there's lots to discover on it. Snapstreaks and stories add a time-pressure element that makes kids feel like they have to check in. If it ever seems like your kid is stressing and not using the app for fun, it's time to step in.
Privacy and safety. Since it's so easy to add friends in Snapchat, you can end up with lots of people you don't know well on your friends list. And depending on your settings, the app can collect a ton of data about your habits in -- and outside of -- the app. Snapchat also works with a lot of third parties that they share your data with. The biggest challenge for parents is that there's no way to see your kid's activity in the app in the same way as on other social media platforms.
Since there's no feed to scroll through like on Instagram, for example, there's not much to monitor. I If you decide to say yes to Snapchat, focus on the privacy settings. Sit down with your kid and together go into the app's settings the little gear icon next to your profile image. Scroll down to "Who Can This is a perfect time to talk to your kid about using their Snapchat safely and responsibly.
Discuss when and how often you'll check in on how they're using it and how they're feeling about it. Explain that you understand that social media is important to them, and, at the same time, your role is to protect them. Don't forget to ask your teen to show you some of their snaps and some of the cool features they like in the app. That'll make it a little less scary for you -- and send the message that you're on the same team. Parents' Ultimate Guide to Support our work!
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