Snapchat launches ‘Family Center’ parental controls feature

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Snapchat unveiled its first set of parental controls on Tuesday, in a bid to grant parents greater insight into their teenagers’ online interactions.

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Snapchat’s “Family Center” rollout followed the launches of similar parental-control features across other social networking apps popular among teens, including Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, TechCrunch reported.

According to The Verge, the new hub allows parents and guardians to keep tabs on their teens’ Snapchat contacts without actually divulging the nature of the communications.

“Both the guardian and the child must accept the Family Center invite before the oversight tools can take effect. Once the invites are accepted, a guardian can see the entirety of their child’s friends list and a list of accounts they’ve interacted with over the last seven days and report concerning accounts to Snap’s Trust and Safety Team,” the tech-centric news outlet reported.

The company also stated in a Tuesday blog post that the “Family Center” goal is to “create a set of tools designed to reflect the dynamics of real-world relationships and foster collaboration and trust between parents and teens.”

According to TechCrunch, parents or guardians will need to install the Snapchat app on their own device in order to link their account to their teens through an opt-in invite process.

“Once configured, parents will be able to see which accounts the teen is having conversations with on the app over the past seven days, without being able to view the content of those messages. They’ll also be able to view the teen’s friend list and report potential abuse to Snap’s Trust & Safety team for review,” the technology news outlet reported.

By contrast, Instagram encourages the setting of screen time limits, alongside its parental controls, while TikTok allows parents to set screen time controls, enable a more “restricted mode” for younger users, turn off search, set accounts to private and restrict messaging as well as who can view the teen’s likes and who can comment on their posts, TechCrunch reported.