Snapchat announces new account protections to help protect teenagers

Apple iPhone with Snapchat
Apple iPhone with Snapchat (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Snapchat has announced new protections that will prevent teenagers from having their accounts recommended to others.
  • Teenagers aged 13 to 17 will no longer have their profiles recommended as potential new followers.
  • Kids under 18 will only have their accounts recommended if they have a given number of friends in common.

Social network Snapchat has announced new account controls that will hopefully make it more difficult for strangers to befriend teenagers. The change will prevent accounts of teenagers ages 13 to 17 from being recommended as potential new follows via the Quick Add feature.

The new move, announced via blog post, should ensure that teenagers' accounts aren't made so visible to strangers. However, those accounts will still be recommended via the Quick Add feature if they have a number of friends in common.

We recently added a new safeguard to Quick Add, our friend suggestion feature, to further protect 13 to 17 year olds. In order to be discoverable in Quick Add by someone else, users under 18 will need to have a certain number of friends in common with that person — further ensuring it is a friend they know in real life.

Snapchat is one of the best iPhone apps for sharing videos and photos but it has come under fire for the way it protects children. This latest move is aimed at improving matters there, with the company also saying that more details about improved parental controls will be made available over the next few months.

The same blog post also confirmed more action will be taken surrounding the promotion of drug use on the Snapchat platform. Steps are already being taken, with Snapchat saying that 88% of "drug related content we uncover is now proactively detected by our machine learning and artificial intelligence technology, with the remainder reported by our community."

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.