Snapchat boosts teen safety with new features

ILLUSTRATION - 28 April 2024, Baden-Württemberg, Rottweil: The Snapchat app can be seen on the display of a smartphone. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa (Photo by Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Snapchat has announced its rolling out new features to further safeguard teenagers from online harm. 

The upgrades include expanded in-app warnings, enhanced friending protections, simplified location-sharing, and blocking improvements.

"These expanded features build on our ongoing work to make it difficult for strangers to contact people on Snapchat," the company posted on its website. "For example, we don’t allow anyone to be messaged by someone they haven’t already added as a friend, or have in their phone contacts."

The updated in-app warnings will now allow teenagers to see a warning message if they receive a chat from someone who has been blocked or reported by others or is from a region where the teen’s network isn't typically located. 

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The enhanced friending protections will prevent a friend request from coming through if the user doesn't have any mutual friends with the requester or that requester has a history of accessing Snapchat in locations often associated with scamming activity.

The simplified location-sharing will give frequent reminders to make sure users are up-to-date on which friends know their location. 

Improvements to the blocking features allow users to block friend requests sent from other accounts created on the same device. 

 This story was reported from Los Angeles.