Parent reviews for Snapchat

Common Sense says

Send moments in photos, watch curated content; use wisely.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 200 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 174 reviews
Adult Written byAdm325465 June 20, 2016

Snapchat

Dear Parents Considering Snapchat, Oh Snapchat.... One of the most controversial apps on the app store. I'm writing this after letting my new 13 year old get snapchat after a lot of begging. I think the reason many parents don't like snapchat is the disappearing of photos. That was the main reason I was so unsure about getting my child snapchat. But, snapchat is just like ANY other social media. You can direct message or DM as the kids call it and you can post pictures on your "story". I guess this app is a question of maturity because once you hit that post button anyone in the whole entire world can see what you posted or DM'ed. One thing that I'm glad that snapchat did was give us the option to have a private account which means only people that you accept there friend request can view your posts and vice versa. What I did was I gave my child snapchat and did quick checks over his shoulder from time to time. I also secretly installed an app from the App Store that saves all of the snaps he gets from anyone and everyone. ( Keep in mind my son has no clue that I did this) So far I have seen nothing bad what so ever and I am not worried. SOOOO what I'm saying is snapchat is an ok app if you trust your kid and give him that quick reminders that someone is always watching what you send. ;) I hope this influenced you in a positive way!
Parent of a 7, 8, 13, 14, and 16 year old Written byTom7744 November 19, 2015

DANGEROUS - Don't be a YES Parent! This app is bad news!! Just say NO!

We are currently going through the "switch" moment (11-13) where our daughter is transitioning from a Sweet Princess who was once thoughtful, loving and considerate to.... Well…. someone else entirely, we still love this stranger but it's taking some time to adjust =). I hear that we could get our sweet loving person back anywhere from age 16 to 21 but wow that's a loooong time to wait. Sigh…. That’s life.. So…. SNAPCHAT REVIEW! When we noticed that our daughter was becoming active online and getting more of an attitude with everyone we started looking into her activity online and I have to say that I am so glad we did. She was cursing, getting sexual post tags from her 11 year old friends, saying sexual things to teenage YouTube heart throbs which she was instructed by them to do via a request to the masses of obsessed girls (she didn’t know it but it was really bad) …. The list goes on, she wasn't doing drugs or getting sexual thankfully but it was a path that she could go down. So we intervened and we continue to do so. I am not saying we examine every single post or message but a glance here and there doesn’t hurt and in our case it was a wakeup call. OK, so that was Twitter, YouTube and Instagram activity. Why do I mention this? What's the point man!? I'm glad you asked! It's because those were all social media sites and messages that we could monitor if we chose to and act accordingly. THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH SNAPCHAT! POOF EVERY MESSAGE VANISHES IN SECONDS AFTER IT HAS BEEN LOOKED AT! Snapchat messages photos, videos, and text messages disappear after 5 to 10 seconds by default! It takes away a parents ability to insure that their child isn't making the wrong choices online and gives a child 100% privacy and freedom to say whatever he/she wants, take a picture or video of whatever he/she wants TO whoever he/she wants and vice versa. And YOU as a parent will never know if what is being sent is good, silly, bad or horrible. You won't know if they are sexting or getting bullied…. I think you get the picture here. And before you say no way not my kid! Think twice! We thought the same about our Precious Daughter! When we have talked to other parents that have discovered what their precious innocent child was doing online they were all very shocked… They didn’t think it would happen to them either! We were young once too but the margin for error has increased 10,000 fold and extends to the entire world! Not just the kids on your neighborhood block. Protect your kids. Don’t give into these social media trends. Just because all of their friends have it doesn’t mean we as parents have to say YES! We are allowed to say No! I am not saying we examine every single post but a glance here and there doesn’t hurt and in our case it was a wakeup call. I know a 15 to 16 year old teenager who shared a nude with her boyfriend that he could have shared with the whole school and online ahem… aka the world. And I have to say I would never think this girl would ever do something so dumb… Trust is something that is earned and something you can never verify with an app like Snapchat. So Snapchat is not something I will trust in the hands of my teenager. Has our daughter done anything horrible on Snapchat? I honestly have a hard time believing she ever would, but I will never know and that’s my point…..

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 6, 6, 9, and 11 year old Written byNH4x4Jeep February 12, 2013

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! =)

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byMeghan Smith March 21, 2015

Fine

I honestly don't see all the fuss about snapchat as long as your kids are responsible.
Parent Written byaedfaedfr January 20, 2015

Good

Its is a great app I do not see why other people are saying that it is 'very inappropriate' when it is not. Your child has to be old enough, and all of my children use it appropriately.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Parent Written bysadfadefa January 20, 2015

It Is Not Inappropriate !!

This App Is Not Inappropriate! This app needs to be used well, but other from that, there is no problem.
Adult Written byAnnaClair June 3, 2016

BE A PARENT

I have read a lot of reviews on Snapchat. I'm frankly appalled at the parents that say my kid use it appropriately there's nothing wrong with it. I'd have to ask how do you know your kid is using it appropriately? The videos the pictures they all disappear within 5 to 10 seconds of someone sending them. However there are ways to save the pictures that people want to save that you send them. So if you're 13 or 14 year old girl or boy is sending inappropriate content of any kind comma it can be saved and sent out to the world. It is very easy to friend people on it. It is very easy to connect with people that your family have no clue who they are. It is not that I don't trust my children. But I do not trust their thirteen-year-old judgement. They are not developmentally mature to make the right decisions without guidance. Snapchat provides 0 ways for a parent to guide their child. As an adult with my adult children I have fun with it. But it is not something I'm willing to let my 13 year old daughter be apart of. I'm willing to bet that most of these parents that think it is just fine haven't picked up their child's phone and gone through they're content on much of anything. That's a generalization. I get it. But please look at your kids phones and text messages and Facebook and Instagram. It is your job and you're right as a parent.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byKristi J. November 5, 2016

New Snapchat Discover Stories regularly have sexually explicit images and articles -- not for kids!

We decided to let our oldest daughter (13 at the time) have the popular app, Snapchat a year or so ago in the context of sending fun filtered videos and pictures to her trusted friends. However, the app has gone through many revisions since we first allowed it. It now has Discover Stories with pictures and links to articles which appear front and center when you open the app. For the past week or so, I have tried to look at these every day to see what these articles are promoting. Many have steamy almost nude graphics which are visible before snapchatters click through. This is the norm, not the exception. And the article names are often sexually explicit -- "Celebs tell stories of how they lost their virginity," "4 Emojis for Steamy Sexting," "A Guide to Lady Parts for Guys," and more. One this past week was about orgies.... These explicit, often trashy articles and pictures have been present every single day I have looked. The app says it is appropriate for kids ages 12+ but in my opinion as a parent, this is definitely not the case! If you are considering for your tween/ teen, I recommend opening an account first for yourself and monitoring the articles for a week or so. Then decide what you feel is appropriate for you family.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 12 and 18+ year old Written bysnapchat14 October 23, 2014

Great App!

As a mother of two children who both have snapchat, I will say that all parents should let their child have one if they want one! As I was very VERY weary of snapchat at first, I learned that it is NOT a bad website!

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Ease of Play
Adult Written byehoytlowrey December 15, 2014

Safety Concern

Please monitor your child's account on SnapChat. Anyone can add them as a friend and send them photos or messages. Some children don't think about deleting or blocking because they don't want to be mean, and in today's age children think it's important to have as many "friends" as possible. Discuss your concerns with your child and let them know that it's more important to be safe than to be nice sometimes.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written by2 samuel 22 March 5, 2013

Beware of dangerous app

beware this is a very distastful app and should not be on the market to download. many pre-teens and teen are usuing it for sexting. encourages poor charecter.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 11 and 14 year old Written bycathy59 February 13, 2015

It's good for children you trust.

Fun!
Adult Written byparent1101 November 24, 2015
I am a parent I have 3 Children an 8 year old an 13 year old and a 16 year old. I do not let my 8 or 13 year old have any social media they do not have an iPhone. My 16 year old has an iPhone 4. She uses Instagram and snapchat. Weare very strict with her and we look at what her friends send her. She mustbe private. I have the password to all accounts. She cannot add people she does not know. We read every single bit of info. She cannot put any info about her. We make sure who she's following is only people she has met and she is friends with in person. Before she can accept anyone she has to ask us to approve the person even if it is from school. My 8 year old cannot talk to her friends online anyway shape or form no iPads because she can talk to them at school. My 13 year old cannot talk to any body from school through the internet or the computer iPod iPad iPhone ect.. I would say 16+ I did not let my 16 year old get snapchat till 16.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written bykellyhartung22 February 19, 2016

It's fine for children 12 and up!

I think snapchat is great. I have a 7 year old, a 14 year old, and a 16 year old. I have took a close look at the app and my 14 and 16 year old girls have it. It is very easy to use wisely, so if used wisely it is perfect. Yes, there may be some people who take explicit pictures, but the majority is fine. Parents- THIS APP IS OK TO USE FOR CHILDREN 12 AND OVER!! VERY FEW USE IT INNAPROPRIATLY

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Ease of Play
Adult Written bybruinim April 29, 2016

Why not just use a regular text app

The whole premise of this app is to HIDE information from others, including parents! Why not use a regular texting app or one that automatically forwards all text to you. Parents, stop being a "Yes" parent and realize that there is NOTHING that should EVER be hidden from your review and evaluation! Say NO to Snapchat! This review system forces me to include an appropriate age for kids. I say that no kid should have it and there is no reason for adults to have it either.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Parent Written byshauna3 July 12, 2013

Primarily used for SEXTING

Snap-chat creates a sense of 'freedom', if you will, about posting things that you really don't want others to see. It is predominately a sexting site. The images say they disappear but you can capture them - its not hard. NOTHING is private online or with social media. Why introduce something to your children or allow them to use it when the primary use is inappropriate?

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Parent Written byjane12345 January 20, 2015

Great.

Its is a good social site, my two children enjoy it. I think there is no problem having the app, though you and your kids should make a rule, that no one will ever send any inappropriate pictures. If you do that, then the app is quite good.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byRUBBERDUCK1 November 19, 2015

Stupid app with stupid content

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Privacy & Safety
Parent Written byLemonFizz January 9, 2017

Supervise this app......

The good: It's trendy, it's fun, it has cool filters, every uses it. The bad: This app has disappearing pics...so you can imagine what an impulsive teen will post with the knowledge that their pic disappears several seconds later. The evil trick is that it doesn't truly disappear....kids can snapshot the pics (although apparently the poster can tell if this has been done) and the really savvy will simply pick up another device and take a picture of the picture. The consequences of making a mistake via snapchat are HUGE. Google Snapchat Sluts and you'll see that there are huge communities of very suave/convincing guys (aka PREDATORS) who sit around and try and convince girls to show a little or a lot on snapchat AND then post it online as some trophy. I highly doubt that they are the cute 16 year old boy (or girl) they make themselves out to be and your kid would never know it. Fake profiles are rampant AND someone may even have a fake profile pretending to be YOUR KID for that matter....but that's a whole other topic. That may be one of the more extreme examples of what can go wrong but it is much more common then parents would like to admit. A much more common snapchat oopsie would be for an ex boyfriend to send a topless pic of his ex to friends....for revenge. And how did the ex get the pic in the first place......it's not that difficult to stay up late whsipering sweet nothings into a girls ear and coax out a pic....TRUST ME....especially when sexting is SO COMMON and it is. Principals are getting sick of dealing with this BS sexting crap and potential lawsuits that they don't even touch it anymore.....parents and police are called to sort out the mess and EVERYONE is called in....the poor girl who took the pic, the boy who sent it, everyone who received it, everyone who passed it on which leads to not only HUGE embarrassment but potential child pornography charges. Yes, a child can be charged with distributing child porn and this can be considered child porn. Passing on pics, taking naked pics of yourself and passing it on....is distribution. Imagine your 13 year old boy having to talk to a police officer and register as a sex offender (which in some states this occurs for sending child porn). Imagine your 13 year old girl having to go back to school after her topless pic went viral overnight. This is when the bullying and suicidal thoughts come in. I don't want to freak you out but there are far too many ways to mess up on snapchat for teens and all the ways involve public humiliation. All teens make mistakes but parents of today should do everything to avoid the life changing, public mess-up's that apps like this lead to. If you want to let your teen "play" with this app then keep it on a family ipad that is not permitted to leave public areas (no taking in bedrooms or bathrooms) and for the love of GOD not on their own device until you can honestly trust them to make safe decisions. Don't stick your head in the sand and think your kids won't do anything wrong on here......it honestly would be hard not to bc they all are doing some level of acting out on snapchat. Just this morning my sons classmate sent a sweet Happy Bday note via snapchat....the background pic was an upclose pic of him in sweatpants with the outline of a certain body part pretty visible through the pants. Knowing this kid, I think he thought it was funny.....but I'm sure his parents would not find the humor. And as a parent of teen girls too...I totally resent the sexual suggestiveness that is made so publicly. It's creating a very strange sexual culture where sexual boundaries are all confusing...where does one draw the line? UNFORTUNATELY...this is exactly the type of garbage that our teens need to master bc they are inundated with it. So I wouldn't say just never let them have access to it. I would suggest....keep it on a public ipad or device at first and supervise it heavily nd plan to have discussions about boundaries and privacy. Then if they earn having it on their own device...check up on it frequently, never let them have private passwords and assume that they will be making mistakes that you will need to provide clean up for. Or you could just keep your fingers crossed and and hope that your teen will be in the .01% of teens that doesn't make mistakes online. And don't forget that making a mistake doesn't just mean your kid sent a pic....it also means requesting a pic, simply viewing a pic after it was sent to them, commenting on a pic, or in some schools simply seeing and failing to report something posted (sexual, racial, alcohol or drugs etc). Bottom line, this app is not for LAZY parents unless you want to be a bad parent too. Letting your kid use this app if your a good parent will also mean dedicating several HOURS a week at first to discussing it. Good luck. PS: Oh....and I was a previous don't invade their privacy parent....now I'm the exact opposite. These are KIDS, they make mistakes. If you don't invade their privacy you will never know about it and they will continue to make mistakes. It all very quickly spirals out of control when a mistake is made and you need to be the FIRST person to catch it. So I'd say try not to needlessly invade privacy....like read conversations obviously mundane. But spyware...sorry kids......YES. Parents you MUST do it and I kept it hidden until they made a mistake and then I told them I had it and it was staying on. The temptation to keep making the mistake was too high and they agreed to the spyware as opposed to just not having any access to the app. An unknown effect to my installation of the spyware is that I see what all the other kids are posting and OH MY LORD what the heck do I do with that knowledge????????? That's my current dilemma...do I have the ethical obligation to tell other parents what their kids are posting...some oh which are my good friends???????? I honestly wish they would all just get with the program and supervise this BS app themselves bc I am heavily leaning towards NOT saying a darn thing to anyone....but in the mean time.....I am witnessing a TRAIN WRECK in slow motion. So there's a lesson for parents too on this....don't expect other parents to alert you. Also....Instagram also has disappearing pics and conversations now. Oovoo , Whisper (HORRIBLE), Houseparty are apps that should be heavily supervised too. Almost nothing happens via text these days....its all in the apps. So parents.....you need to have access to ALL the passwords.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byQuinnnnnnnnndfjfirn August 15, 2015

Snapchat

I think snapchat is great! I have 2 kids (13, 15) it's super fun for them and the app is free

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