If you have tweens or teens, you know about how does Snapchat work. And if you cannot figure out how it works, you’re probably over 25 years old. As one of the most popular social media apps, Snapchat offers kids and teens what they really want: an easy way to share and share everyday moments you look awesome.
And unlike Facebook and Twitter, which record everything and send what you do, Snapchat uses messages that are supposed to go away (learn more about how it actually does not). Like 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 so you can make sure their experience is positive.
In addition to being able to connect and follow up with friends, Snapchat has many more cool things in store: games, news and entertainment, quizzes, and truly innovative photo and video editing tools (so innovative it’s almost impossible for adults to do find out – another reason why children love it).
Something about clicking, sharing and forgetting the little moments of life has a huge appeal for children. And for the most part, they use Snapchat for that. The app has a carefree design and their photo filters and effects tend to rainbows and flower crowns.
Other features, however, pose some risks: With Snap Map, friends can see each other’s location on a map, which is not always safe. Snapstreaks require children to exchange messages as long as possible, which is very time-consuming. and Discover offers some age-related content. With your privacy, security, social media and marketing guidance, Snapchat can be a fun way for teenagers to socialize.
WHAT IS SNAPCHAT?
Snapchat is a popular messaging app that allows users to share images and videos (called snapshots) that should disappear after viewing. It is known as a “new type of camera” because the crucial function is to take a picture or video, add filters, lenses or other effects and share them with friends.
HOW DOES SNAPCHAT WORK?
All you need to sign up is your name, e-mail address, and date of birth. With Snapchat, users pass a handle and snapchatters tend to silly names. To add friends, you can upload your contacts to sync or run a search for people you know. You can also automatically add someone by taking a picture of his “Snapcode”, a special QR code unique to each user.
After that, it gets a bit confusing. Snapchat usually starts communication through photos, not text. To start a conversation, tap the big camera circle and take a snapshot. There are all kinds of photo editing tools (you have to experiment to find out what they are doing) and filters to beautify your pictures. Once you’ve customized your snap, you can send it to anyone on your friend list or add it to your story. This is a record of the day that your friends can view for 24 hours. Snapchat also offers group text and group stories that anyone in the group can contribute to.
HOW OLD DO YOU NEED TO BENEFIT FROM SNAPCHAT?
Is news on snapshot really going to disappear?
It depends on whether. If you set a timeout for a snap, it will disappear after it has been displayed. However, recipients can take a screenshot of an image using their phone or a third-party screen capture app. A screenshot of the phone informs the sender that the picture was taken. However, third-party apps do not trigger a notification. For these reasons, it’s best for teenagers to understand that nothing that’s done online is really temporary. Before sending a sexy or embarrassing snapshot of yourself or someone else, keep in mind that the picture can reach school tomorrow morning.
WHAT ARE SNAPSTREAKS?
With a snapstreaks, two users have been snapping back and forth for three consecutive days within 24 hours. Once you’ve created a series, special emojis and stats will be displayed next to the series names to show how long you’ve kept a series. Why are they important? First, they increase your overall Snapchat score (basically a number that indicates how often you use the app). On the other hand, they can occasionally become the most important thing in a child’s life. Due to the intense bonds that children can make through social media, they feel that a snapstreak is a measure of their friendship. If they cannot stand it, they will let the other person down. It is even known that teenagers give friends access to their Snapchat accounts to continue a series if they cannot do it themselves (for example, if their phone is taken away because they are too often online). This can lead to pressure feelings, fears and constraints. So it’s good to know if your child has stripes that give insight into the reasons why this selfie might feel really important.
WHAT IS THE SNAPS CARD?
Snap to Map displays your location in real-time on a map. If your friends have Snap Map enabled, you can also view their locations. (You can disable this option or use it in ghost mode so you can see the map but you cannot see it.) Snap Map also offers news and events from around the world, such as: For example, a political rally in Nicaragua is displayed as a symbol on a world map. The biggest risk with Snap Map is that a teenager has seen his or her friends’ location because some of his Snapchat contacts may not be real friends. If there is no specific event and it’s easier for friends to know each other’s location, it’s best to leave Snap Maps disabled or use it in Ghost mode.
WHAT IS A SNAPCHAT HISTORY?
A story is a collection of moments in the form of pictures and videos that together make up a story. (After Snapchat announced the format, other social media services, including Facebook and Instagram, also offered story-making tools.) Snapchat displays stories as circles. When you tap on it, the pictures or videos collected by the user are played back automatically. You can create personal stories that your friends can view for 24 hours. If you think your Snap is particularly interesting or up-to-date, you can send it to Our Story. Our stories are like mini-documentations of events, holidays, game championships or other events in the world on a particular day. Snaps are curated and compiled by the company. While it’s cool to add your story to Our Story, it’s also very public, so children should think carefully before submitting one.
WHAT IS A SNAP CODE?
When you log in, Snapchat gives you your own unique QR code. If you meet another Snapchat user and want to make friends with him, you can simply retrieve the other person’s code and they will automatically be added to your friend list. Because it’s so easy to find friends on Snapchat (depending on your preferences) or to exchange codes, teens can end up with virtual strangers on their friend list. For various reasons, this can be risky. It’s best to talk to your teenager when it’s safe to add people.
WHAT IS DISCOVERING?
Discover offers created by celebrities, news and entertainment companies, and other users. You can subscribe to specific Discover sources to get their feeds. While Discover offers some legitimate news from publishers such as the New York Times and Vice Media, offers can be promotional and often mature. However, if your child signs in with the correct date of birth, they will miss the alcohol ads and other adult content that Snapchat filters out for underage users. Discovery stories often offer promos that encourage children to “swipe up” to learn more (which usually leads to ads) or a quiz (which is usually a marketing tool). This section ranges from harmless to shocking. So it’s good to look around and get a feel for what your kids are seeing.
WHAT ARE OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF SNAPCHAT?
Snapchat is more than just cute photos. The more times you use the app, the more points you get and the higher your Snapchat score. Snapchat rewards scorers with trophies and other benefits. Here are some more features of Snapchat:
Face Lenses and World Lenses: If you’ve seen photos of people with comic-cat ears and whiskers on their faces, they’re facial lenses. World lenses are augmented reality elements, such as For example, rainbows that you can add to a snapshot to make it look like part of the photo. Technically, lenses are “overlays” and cost money for Snapchat.
Geofilter: These are site-specific elements that can only be unlocked by visiting a specific location. Companies use geofilters to check-in and promote customers. A child could create a special geofilter for his Sweet 16 party, which participants can add to their photos.
- Snapcash: As with PayPal or Venmo, Snapcash users can transfer money between themselves.
- Reminders: If you do not want your snapshots to disappear, you can save them to send later.
- Snapstore: That’s what it sounds like: a place where you can buy Snapchat items.
- Shazam: A feature that lets you identify a song.
IS SNAPCHAT SAFE FOR TWEENS AND TEENS?
Most children use Snapchat to play around and stay in touch with their friends – the end of the story. Yes, there is some mature content, but it is suitable for most teenagers over the age of 16. That is, there are three major risk areas:
The myth of the disappearance of messages. When Snapchat was first launched, it was called the “Sexting App” because people sent familiar photos, assuming they would destroy themselves. Any app can be abused, but many children mistakenly believe that Snapchat has an integrated Get Out of Jail Free card.
Teenagers really need to understand that the content they share can be stored and shared and may never go away. It’s best to have this conversation before downloading Snapchat, but it’s never too late. Talk about whether one of your friends ever pressured her to send a sexy picture, and discuss why someone who would do that would not have your best interests. Children should also ask for permission before sharing a picture of someone else.
Time sucks. Snapchat is a lot of fun and there is a lot to discover. Snapstreaks and stories add extra time, so kids feel they need to check-in. If it ever seems that your child has stress and does not use the app for fun, it’s time to get started.
Privacy and security. Since it’s so easy to add friends in Snapchat, you can end up having a lot of people on your friend list who you do not know well. And depending on your settings, the app can collect a lot of data about your habits inside and outside the app. Snapchat also works with many third parties with whom they share your information.
HOW DO I MONITOR SNAPCHAT AND USE THE SETTINGS?
The biggest challenge for parents is that there is no way to see your child’s activity in the app in the same way as on other social media platforms. Since there is no scrolling feed, there is not much to monitor. Instead, focus on privacy settings.
If you want to say yes to Snapchat, sit with your child and go into the app’s settings (the little gear icon next to your profile picture). Scroll down to “Who can …”. Here you can control important security features, such as: For example, who can see your location and who can see your story. This is the perfect time to talk to your child about the safe and responsible use of their Snapchat account. Discuss when and how often you check how they use it and how they feel about it. Explain that you understand that social media are important to you and that it is your job to protect them. Do not forget to ask your teen to show you some of her snapshots and some of the cool features that she likes in the app. This makes you less scary – and sends the message that you are on the same team.
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