Snapchat

Common Sense Media says

Capture and send fleeting moments in photos, but use wisely.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
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9
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11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Snapchat is extremely easy to set up and use. Users create a unique Snapchat account and add friends by linking to their phone’s address book, connecting to Facebook, or entering specific Snapchat usernames. To send a message, users snap a picture with the in-app camera, set the length of time the photo will display, select recipients, and send. Users can see a list of sent and received messages, and can also see if messages were opened.

Violence

There is no violence in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored photos.

Sex

There is no sexual content in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored photos.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Snapchat encourages users to invite friends and contacts to download the app and sign up for an account. Users can only send Snapchat photos to others using the service. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There is no content related to drinking, drugs, or smoking in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored photos.

Privacy & safety

There are some privacy concerns with Snapchat. The app requires users to create a username and password, with the option to provide mobile number, email address, and Facebook ID to find friends. Snapchat doesn't gather or publish users' location information. Although Snapchat advertises that pictures are deleted after one to ten seconds, in their privacy policy, they state that they don't guarantee all images will be deleted from their servers. And though the app notifies the sender if the recipient takes a screen shot of an image, the recipient could easily use a second device to take a picture of the sent image, and the sender would not receive an alert. There are links in the app to Snapchat’s public Facebook and Twitter pages, which teens could use to distribute their usernames to strangers. Teens can receive a Snapchat message from anyone who knows their username. The Snapchat privacy policy allows minors age 13 and up to use the app with parental consent.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Snapchat is a popular messaging app that allows teens to exchange user-generated photos, which can't be saved within the app and are viewable for one to ten seconds before disappearing from the recipient's device. Snapchat's creators intended the fleeting images to be a way for teens to share fun and light moments without the risk of having them go public. The app notifies the sender if the recipient takes a screen shot of the image.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • photography

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media

What Kids Can Learn

Snapchat wasn’t created with educational intent, and we don’t recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Arts

  • photography

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media

Snapchat wasn’t created with educational intent, and we don’t recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Snapchat is a photo-messaging app that allows users to put a time limit on a picture so the recipient can only see it for a few seconds before it disappears. Users can add friends from their device's address book and Facebook friends list, or they can enter specific usernames. To send a picture, users take a snapshot using the in-app camera, set a time limit, select recipients, and send. Users have a Snapchat mailbox, where they can see a list of sent and received messages. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though it sounds like a great way to control images shared with friends, trusting that online content can be kept private is never a safe bet. As with any media-sharing tool, users should be cautious and thoughtful about what images they send with Snapchat.  The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexual, violent, or illegal content.

Users can receive images in Snapchat from anyone who knows their usernames, so teens using Snapchat will need to be careful not to share their usernames in public forums. View our video The Truth About Sexting for more ways to talk to your teen about safe messaging practices.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 26, 2011
Category:Photo & Video
Size:2.70 MB
Publisher:Toyopa Group, LLC
Version:3.0.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Snapchat was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written byDOGLOVER9111 January 4, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Use Wisely.

While using snapchat, a person can take a picture, put a timer on it, (to make it visible for a certain amount of time: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, or 10 seconds) and then you can add a note if you want and then can send it to anyone if you have their snapchat username. Parents would want to be careful to let their child use this app, because there is the possibility of a kid taking innapropriate pictures or adding bad language to the pictures, and the parent would never know because the picture disappears in seconds and you can never find it again. I use it with my friends just for fun, and my parents trust me with what I do with it, and they occasionally look at the pictures my friends send me.

What other families should know
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bymom0125 November 5, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Age should be younger.

i thought my kids finally found a social media site to express herself! Much better and safer than any other social media

What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 6, 6, 9, and 11 year old Written byNH4x4Jeep February 12, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

NOT SAFE! NOTE EVEN CLOSE! Do NOT trust the PERCEIVED safety!

Internet Rule #1: "Nothing is private online. Anything you say or do can be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people without your permission."

Google: "How to save photos from SnapChat" Need I say more?
For more EXCELLENT information, see the "Digital citizenship" section of commonsensemedia.org! =)

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns

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