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Snapchat launches new Family Centre to make the platform safer

Snapchat has launched the Family Centre – a new in-app safety tool for parents to help keep their teenage children safe on the popular social media platform.

Family Centre will help parents gain a deeper insight into what their teens and their friends are doing and who they are communicating with while still respecting their privacy.

Snap took the advice of many online safety and well-being experts to shape how their resources would be deployed.

This move was also influenced by the findings of a recent survey of more than 9000 teens, young adults and parents of teens across a range of social media platforms – not just Snapchat.

It found 68 per cent of teens admitted to being exposed to at least one online risk while parents who regularly check in with their teens estimated this risk to be at 70 per set.

And 60 per cent of parents who regularly spoke with their teens about online risks said they had full trust in their child to behave appropriately online and didn’t feel the need to monitor their activities.

This compares with 42 per cent of parents who said they don’t check in on their teen’s activities regularly.

“Snapchat is a central communications tool for so many young Australians, and as our community continues to grow, we know parents and caregivers want additional ways to help keep their teens safe,” says Kathryn Carter, General Manager, APAC Snap.

“Our Family Centre feature will help parents get more insight into who their teens are friends with on Snapchat, helping foster positive conversations about online safety within families, while respecting the privacy and autonomy of teens.”

Family centre is designed to mimic the way parents engage with their teens in the real world we the parents would know who their children are friends with and where they’re hanging out but without listening in on their conversations.

with this tool, parents can now confidentially report any accounts that may be of concern to them directly to the trusted safety teams which work 24/7 to keep the platform safe.

in the months ahead, the family centre will include new features like content controls for parents and a way for teens to notify their parents when they report an account or a piece of content to the platform.

“We are very pleased to see the steps Snap are taking to promote the safety of young people using their app,” says Jo Robinson, Associate Professor and Head of Suicide Prevention at Orygen.

“We know online safety is one of the big challenges facing young people at the moment, including in the area of suicide and self-harm, so the more the industry can do to facilitate safety on the app and supportive conversations between young people and their families the better.”

Family Centre will roll out in the US, UK, Australia, NZ and Canada with additional countries being added later this year.