To mark Safer Internet Day, Snap is introducing a new feature on Snapchat called Friend Check Up, which prompts Snapchatters to look at their friend lists and make sure it’s all people they still want to be connected to.
If there happens to be Snapchatters in their lists that they no longer want to be in contact with, they can easily and comfortably remove them.
It’s a Marie Kondo / Spring cleaning approach at one level, but more fundamentally, it reinforces that the primary purpose of the Snapchat app is to communicate with the people who truly matter most to you. The meaningful feature breaks away from other social media platform’s approaches to growing long lists of followers, it’s bolder than what other social media platforms have done and will do.
A Snap spokesperson said, “we have all come to realise both the importance of digital tools for staying connected to one another – especially during the pandemic – as well as some of the potential risks that these tools can create.
One source of risk on digital platforms are the connections that can be created – sometimes at the explicit urging of the platform – with people who we don’t know in real life and who may expose us to negative experiences, such as the spread of misinformation, harassment, or unwanted situations.
At Snapchat, we built our app with those risks very much in mind. The architecture of our platform is designed to encourage connection and communication between those who are real friends, while making it much harder for strangers to find and friend Snapchatters.”
- There are no browsable public profiles for Snapchatters under 18
- By default, you cannot Chat or contact someone directly unless you have both added each other as friends
- Many of our features are set to private by default, which helps protect Snapchatters from unknowingly sharing information, such as their location, with their friends
- We don’t give Group chats the opportunity to ‘go viral’ in a way that in other settings sometimes become vectors for extremist content or recruitment. Group chats are designed to be conversations among groups of real friends, so we limit their size to 64 friends. Groups aren’t searchable, recommended, or surfaced anywhere else in the app outside of the Chat tab.
“As part of Safer Internet Day, we’re going a step further by announcing our new feature, “Friend Check Up,” that will prompt Snapchatters to review their Friend lists and make sure it’s made up of people they still want to be connected to. This simple tooltip will be served to Snapchatters as a notification in their profile. Friends Check Up will start rolling out globally for Android devices in the coming weeks, and for iOS devices in the coming months.
Friend Check Up will serve to remind Snapchatters that over time they may have added someone to their friends list who they may no longer want to be in touch with on our app. With a quick, private, convenient process, Friend Check Up enables Snapchatters to clean up their lists and comfortably remove those who don’t need to be there or may have been added as a mistake.”
This new feature is part of a more comprehensive campaign Snap kicked off last month with the goal of further integrating online safety and privacy education in Snapchat, in ways that will help resonate with the mobile-first generation.
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