Snapchat is a picture sharing
app that is hugely popular with young people. As of May 2017, the app was
attracting 166m users a day.
It is often referred to as 'the sexting app' - even though there’s no research showing that to be true, and plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that isn't the reason most teens use it.
The app focuses on capturing ‘moments’ quickly with users taking images and videos and sending them instantly.
The unique feature of Snapchat is that images disappear within seconds. Snapchat users can specify how many seconds they would like their images to be seen by the recipient(s). This can range from 1 to 10 seconds.
Snapchat’s latest update, as of June 2017, is a location-sharing feature called Snap Map.
This feature has prompted some concern from parents and professionals working with children over privacy, and who can find out the exact location of their kids as you don't need to be friends with a user for them to see where you are.
To combat this, users can specify who they share their whereabouts with - all their friends or just a select few. They can even set it to ‘ghost mode’, where they can see where others are without sharing their own location.
Thinkuknow - the education programme of The National Crime Agency’s child protection command CEOP - has created a guide for parents and carers to help them understand the functions and features of Snapchat and ways to help young people stay safe while using it.
Click on the link below to read CEOP's comprehensive guide to Snapchat.