Only your Snapchat friends can see where you are. If your friends have opted into Snap Map, you can see their locations, too. (You can turn this off or use it in Ghost Mode, which allows you to see the map but not be seen by others.) Snap Map also features news and events from around the world-for example, a political rally in Nicaragua, which displays as an icon on a map of the world. The biggest risk with Snap Map is a teen having their location seen by all their friends-since some of their Snapchat contacts may not be real friends. Unless there’s a specific event and it makes it easier for friends to know each other’s location, it’s best to leave Snap Maps off or use it in Ghost Mode.
A story is a collection of moments in the form of pictures and videos that, taken together, create a narrative. (After Snapchat popularized the format, other social media services, including Facebook and Instagram, offered story-creation tools, too.) On Snapchat, stories appear as circles, and when you tap them, they autoplay the pictures or videos the user collected. You can create personal stories that your friends can view for a 24-hour period. Or, if you think your Snap is particularly interesting or newsworthy, you can send it to Our Story. Our Stories are kind of like mini-documentaries of events, holidays, game championships or other things happening in the world on a particular day. While it’s cool to have your story added to Our Story, it’s also very public, so kids should think carefully before submitting one.
When you sign up, Snapchat gives you your own unique QR code. When you meet a fellow Snapchat user and want to friend each other, you can just take a snap of the other person’s code, and they’re automatically added to your friends list. Because it’s so easy to find friends on Snapchat (depending on your settings) or exchange codes, teens may end up with virtual strangers on their friends list. For a variety of reasons, that can be risky, so it’s best to talk to your teen about when it’s safe to add people.
Snaps are curated and compiled by the company
Discover offers content created by celebrities, news and entertainment outlets, and other users. You can subscribe to specific Discover sources to receive their feeds. While Discover offers some legitimate news from publishers including the New York Times and Vice Media, the offerings can be promotional and are frequently mature. But if your kid has signed up with their correct birth date, they’ll miss the alcohol ads and other adult content that Snapchat filters out for underage users. Discover stories often feature promos prompting kids to “swipe up” to learn more (which usually leads to ads) or take a quiz (which is usually a ut from harmless to shocking, so it’s good to look around and get a sense of what your kids are seeing.
World lenses are augmented reality elements, such as rainbows, that you can add to a snap so it looks like it’s part of the photo
Snapchat is waaaay more than cute photos. The more you use the app, the more points you get and the higher your Snapchat score goes. Snapchat awards high scorers with trophies and other perks. Here are a few other Snapchat features:
Face lenses and world lenses: If you’ve seen photos of people with cartoon cat ears and whiskers on their faces, those are face lenses. Technically, lenses are “overlays-and they cost money on Snapchat.