Snapchat… What you should know
  • 90% of Snapchat users are 13-24 years old
  • Snapchat has a minimum user age of 13

Snapchat Lingo-to-Know

Snap – When you take a photo or video, or receive a photo or video, it is known as a “snap”.

Story – You can broadcast snaps as you capture them. They’ll appear to your friends as a “story” reel. They can tap through your story and watch every snap posted to your story to experience your entire day.

Streak/SnapStreak – Some of your friends or the people you follow might have a number or a different emoji next to their Snapchat names in the Chat section of your Snapchat, this means you and that friend or friends have snapped each other (not including chat messaging) within 24 hours for more than one consecutive day. Lots of people try to have as many Streaks as possible, for the longest time possible.

Filter –  You can jazz up your snap by adding a fun overlay with a filter. After you take a snap, swipe right or left on the preview screen to add coloured filters, the current time, local weather, speed overlays, or geofilters to your photo or video.

Chat –  This is a messaging feature within Snapchat that lets you directly chat with other users.

Snap Maps – With this feature, you can share your location with your friends or followers. It also allows you to scroll around an actual map to see where your friends are located.

Bitmoji – An avatar created by the user, for the user.

QuickAdd Quick add is a service that snapchat offers to find people you may know, based on who you’re friends with, and who your friends are friends with.

So… What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media platform where you can send private messages, photos and videos to your friends, with the added feature of putting photos and videos onto your Story.
With other features such as SnapMaps, you can see where your friends are and how long ago they were last active.

Photos sent via snapchat disappear after 10 seconds, where you can no longer view the photo or video.

So, we know what snapchat is… What should we be aware of?

For a lot of parents,  Snapchat is very confusing and is often thought of as the most dangerous social media app available to children, and a lot of parents are hesitant and even afraid to let their children use it. It’s easy to see why, especially when you are able to track your friends exact locations.

For a lot of people, Snapchat is thought of as a ‘sexting’ app, because the photos and videos sent disappear after 10 seconds and cannot be re-watched, which means a lot of young people are less afraid of sending inappropriate photos and videos.

However, even though Snapchat has the reputation of a more dangerous social media app, if you take the right precautions the app is completely safe to use.

Features of Snapchat

SnapMaps – The SnapMaps feature in Snapchat has a cog In the top right hand corner of the screen. When clicked, users can update their location settings to one of the following:

      • Ghost mode – When ghost mode is turned on on nobody can see your location. This is the mode we recommend children use.
        My friends –  when using my friends this means that all of your added friends can see your location at any time
      • My friends except –  when using my friends except users can choose who cannot see them
      • Only these friends –  users can choose who can see them

Chat – The Chat feature shows all added friends and recent conversations. In the Settings menu, you can decide whether only your friends can contact you, or if everyone can contact you.

Camera – This feature asks for permission to use the camera when first downloading the app, but does not ask again.

Stories – The stories feature Allows you to post snap For all of your friends to see 24-hours. Users can choose whether friends or everyone can view their stories. Stories also has an option where you can create a private story – this is where you can choose as many friends as you like to be able to view the story, but nobody else can view it.


In the top left hand of any of the screens in Snapchat there is a bitmoji photo of the user, from this screen, you can access your settings using the cog in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

A run-down of the settings…

      • Name – This is why users enter full name. This name is available to friends of the user.
      • Mobile number – A mobile number is used to recover an account should you be locked out of your account. There is a setting that lets people find you using that number. This can be switched off in the ‘Mobile Number’ tab.
      • Two-factor authentication – When logging in, snapchat can request a Log-in Code to put in after the correct passcode has been entered. This keeps the account more secure, with less risk of an account being hacked. We recommend turning two-factor authentication on.

Who can…

In the ‘who can’ tab, users can decide who can contact them and see what they post onto snapchat.

      • Contact me – The options for ‘contact me’ are ‘everyone’ and ‘my friends only’
      • View my story – ‘everyone’, ‘my friends only’ and ‘Custom’ – custom means you can block certain friends from seeing your stories
      • See me in QuickAdd – a simple yes/no slider


Snapchat has a built-in support centre below the settings, which have three main tabs;

  • I Need Help
  • I Have A Privacy Question
  • I Have A Safety Concern

It’s always a good idea to have a look around the support centre before you come into any issues whilst using the app. This means that should a problem arise, you know how to fix it.

Snapchat has a guide for parents that you can access here