What is Snapchat? A Parent Guide (Video)

Due to Snapchat’s popularity, we’ve updated this Snapchat parent app guide to continue to help parents keep students safe

Snapchat is a popular photo, video, audio, and live messaging app

Snapchat has a private messaging feature which allows users to send private video, audio, or photos to one another.

  • Users can post photos or videos to their stories
  • Posts disappear in 24 hours
  • Users can watch and comment on other Snapchat users’ stories
  • Snapchat has a private messaging feature which allows users to send private video, audio, or photos to one another
  • Filters are a popular aspect of the app, filters create effects over Snapchat photos/videos (called “snaps”)




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What is a Streak?

  • A Streak is given to users who have sent each other Snaps consistently for two days or more
  • A fire emoji (🔥) will appear next to a friend’s name along with a number. This indicates that you are on a Streak and the number indicates how many days the Streak has been going

What are Memories?

  • Memories are a Snapchat feature that lets users save their own Snaps and Stories in the cloud
  • Users can also use Memories to upload photos from their phone’s camera roll and post them in their Story or in a private chat

How to add friends:

  • Drag down on your friend’s snapchat app and scan their barcode to add them as a friend.

How do kids use Snapchat?

  • Communicate in a quick, silly, and non-permanent way with friends
  • Get news from publishers’ stories
  • Build and maintain Streaks
  • Send private, text-only snaps to friends, that can disappear in 24 hours

Companies post on Snapchat daily:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Cosmopolitan
  • CNN
  • Food Network
  • Mashable
  • National Geographic
  • The New York Times
  • People
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Refinery 29
  • Vice
  • Vogue
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Post

Why is Snapchat so popular?

  • Posts are temporary and disappear in 24 hours
  • If users build a long Streak they will keep posting so they don’t lose their Streak
  • Snapchat offers tons of filters and new filters every day

Snapchat in the news

Snapchat is also perceived as more authentic since the app favors spur-of-the-moment posts rather than carefully edited selections. –LA Times

Fortunately, multiple default Snapchat settings make the process easier if you’re a parent, but you still want to pay close attention to protect your children. –USA Today

Why should parents care?

Many teens might post riskier content on Snapchat than on other social networks.

  • Due to its temporary nature, many teens might post riskier content on Snapchat than on other social networks
  • Snapchat is very popular among teens and one of the reasons it’s so popular is because most parents are not using the app
  • 3rd party apps make it easy for users to screenshot Snaps without Snapchat notifying the original poster that a screenshot has been taken of their post
  • Anyone with your child’s username can see their Snaps or send them direct messages

Is Snapchat safe to use?

  • When your student has a solid understanding of their online footprint, then Snapchat can be used as a family in a fun and positive way
  • If parents get involved and add their child on Snapchat, teens tend to keep their Snaps positive

What can parents do?

Know your child’s Snapchat username, get involved, and monitor their Snaps.

  • Remind your teen that anything they post on social media (including Snapchat) has the ability to last forever
  • Demonstrate the ways that negative posts can come back to hurt their reputation in the future
  • Remind your teen that it’s okay to be silly and have fun on social media as long as they are positive (with a little bit of gratitude)
  • Colleges are okay with a student making fun of themselves, but not others
  • Know your child’s Snapchat username, get involved, and monitor their Snaps
  • Register for Footprint Friday to monitor your student’s online footprint
  • Join one of our safety webinars to know how to protect your kids
What is Snapchat

We created this Snapchat Parent Guide to bring you up to speed on this app your teens may be using.

What is Snapchat?

From: wikiHow

Definition: Snapchat is a messaging service that allows people to send photos and short videos to each other, called Snaps. Distinguishing feature: the photos you send disappear. Seconds after opening snaps, users can no longer access them and the images are deleted from the company’s servers.


Snapchat Age limitations

From Snapchat Terms

People under the age of 13 are prohibited from creating Snapchat accounts. However, children under the age of 13 can register for the Snapchat app (and when they insert an age under 13 years old) Snapchat becomes: “Snapkidz,” a limited- functionality version of Snapchat. It includes the familiar interface for taking Snaps, captioning, drawing, and saving Snaps locally on the device, but does not support sending or receiving Snaps or adding friends.


Interesting Snapchat statistics:

From MediaBistro and DMR

  • Snapchat has 60+ million total users, 30 million active monthly users, and 70% of all users are female.
  • 400 million Snapchats are sending per day.
  • 32% of all teens in US at the age 13 to 17 years old use Snapchat.
  • Co-founder and CEO of the Snapchat Evan Spiegel just turned 24.
  • Snapchat’s most popular feature is Stories.

How to create a Snapchat account?

From wikiHow

1. Download and install the Snapchat app. from Google Play or Apple App Stores
2. Create an account. Creating an account is free, and requires you to enter your email address and birthday, as well as create a password.
3. Create a unique username
4. Add contacts. Snapchat will ask you if it can tap into your phone’s contacts list. Then Snapchat will scan your contacts and see who else is a Snapchat user. You can then add any matches automatically. You can also add people one at a time by searching for their usernames.


How to create and send Snaps?

From Snapchat Support

1. Take a photo Snap (tap the center circle button once).
2. Record a video Snap (press and hold the center circle button for as long as you want the video to be).
3. Set the timer up to 10 sec for a photo Snap. Note that it can’t guarantee the Snap will only last for this amount of time and the recipient could take a screenshot of the Snap.
4. Add a caption by taping in the middle of the screen.
5. You can also draw on your Snap, just tap the pen icon in the top right corner.
6. Select all recipients you want (arrow icon in the bottom-right corner) and tap “Send”.


Viewing received Snaps

From wikiHow

1. Open your list of received Snaps, a Cube icon in the bottom-left corner. If you have new Snaps, a number will appear above the icon indicating how many unread Snaps you have.
2. Press and hold the Snap you want to open. The timer in the upper-right corner will indicate how much longer you can view the Snap.
3. Replaying a Snap. You can only do this once per 24 hour period, and it will only allow you to replay your last-viewed Snap.


What is a Snapchat Story and how does one post it?

From About.com Web Trends

A Snapchat Story is a photo or video you post to your very own Stories section (or feed) of your account, which is visible by you and all your friends.
Stories live for 24 hours and can be viewed again and again for that period. You can post photos and videos to your feed by pressing “Add to Stories” icon.

Instant Messages:

From Business Insider

To start chatting swipe right on a friend’s name in your inbox. Once you leave the chat screen, messages that both you and your friend have seen will disappear.


Video Chat

From Snapchat Support

Live video chat is only a press and hold away.
Press and hold the blue Here icon to immediately broadcast live video and audio of yourself to your friend.
When they do the same, you’ll immediately be in a two-way video chat.
While video chatting, you can switch views from the front-facing camera to the rear-facing camera.
You’ll still be streaming live video of yourself to your friend until you take your finger off the screen.
To stop receiving live video from a friend, swipe left to exit Chat and return to the feed screen.


What is Snapchat

What is Snapchat

Sexting is a major concern

From Search Engine Journal

One major concern with this app is ‘sexting’ and how teen users use the app.
One of the reasons teens are sending inappropriate Snaps, is that their parents aren’t on Snapchat.


Here’s our first Snapchat video from 2014:

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