Snapchat is a photo-messaging app, which allows users to send a picture or video to another user or group. Message recipients are able to view the picture or video for a set time only – from one to 10 seconds, after which time the content is deleted. While the service prohibits bullying and harassment, nudity and sexual content are permitted.
Users under the age of 13 are nor permitted to use Snapchat, but the age limit is not strictly enforced. Especially with younger users, we recommend that user profile is set to private (only your friends can send you messages), and that teens do not accept friend requests from or communicate with people that they do not know.
While many users believe the claim that pictures and messages disappear after being viewed, that content is stored for some time on the company’s servers, and it is possible to retrieve deleted Snapchat content from a user’s phone.
Snapchat has been frequently linked to sexting incidents. Parents of younger users should take note.
Special Note: There have been reported cases of strangers sending suggestive photos to others and encouraging them to in turn show nudity. The stranger’s motivation may be blackmail. Please beware.