By Becca Ludlum on Fri, 07/05/2013
Ever since the social app Snapchat debuted on the App Store two years ago, parents everywhere have been hyper aware of the downsides of their teens downloading and using the popular app.
Parents are concerned about enabling their children to receive (or send) sexually inappropriate photos or videos, photos that bully, or images taken in bad taste. If parents think they can routinely check their teen's phone to look for signs of these behaviors, Snapchat puts an end to that. When you take a photo in the app, it's not saved to the camera roll, and when you view a photo in Snapchat, it's available to the viewer for less than 10 seconds, and then it's gone forever.
While the app is technically available to those 13 years of age and older, the makers of Snapchat understand it's becoming increasing popular among younger children who lie about their age. The Snapchat team recently released an update called Snapkidz—a non-social version of the app. The Snapchat guide for parents explains that new users who enter a birth date indicating they're under the age of 13 will create a SnapKidz account instead of a Snapchat account. To abide by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Snapchat doesn't collect anypersonal information when a child creates a SnapKidz account; all the information is stored locally on their device.
SnapKidz allows kids to take photos and video and save them to their camera roll. Kids can edit their photos and videos with text and drawings but may not send or receive messages to or from friends through the app.