Snapchat is preparing to launch a new parental control feature called Family Center. This will allow parents to see who their teen has messaged in the past seven days and who they befriended, followed, or struck up a deal for ‘magic’ beans in return for the family’s cow.
For once, it seems like the messaging app has taken inspiration from the folks over at Meta, instead of the other way around. Earlier this year, Meta launched its Family Centre parental supervision feature for Instagram.
Snapchat’s friends list isn’t public, as with other social media networks. The new parental control feature allows parents to invite their teens to an in-app Family Center. Kids have the option of accepting or declining the invitation. They probably don’t have as much option with the conversation that comes after declining. But that’s still a little way in the future.
Market research platform Watchful released prototype images of the in-development feature to TechCrunch. So far, parents can see who the teen’s friends are. This is not visible to other users. Guardians also see who the teen conversed with over the previous seven days. But conversations still stay private. Basically, parents and guardians can look out for their teens and help out if harassment must be reported. If the youngster permits it, of course.
Who did it first
Meta got its PG on earlier this year, to protect teens and assure parents on Instagram and Facebook. The feature is called Family Centre – but with the US spelling. TikTok introduced parental controls in 2020, and YouTube started up last year.
Not all social media platforms are the same, which informs what kind of parental control features are needed. With Snapchat, minors must accept each other as friends in the app before they can start snapping away.
A minor’s account won’t show up in search results or as a friend suggestion for other users unless they have mutual friends. Minors are also not allowed to have public profiles.
Family Center will roll out in the coming months, according to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.