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Is My Teen Using SnapChat?

Probably. The most recent statistics says that 34% of teens are using Snapchat with more than 8,796 photos being shared every second and 5% of all selfies being attributed to the service. Phew.

You probably have a lot of questions about SnapChat. What is it? Why do teens use it? Is it safe? We're happy to take a few minutes to help answer these questions for you.

1) What is it?

A smartphone app, Snapchat can be downloaded for Android or Apple phones. The app is free of charge and creating account takes only an email and a password. Its basic function is a social sharing application for photos and videos, either one to one personal messages or posted publicly as "stories."

2) Why do teen use it?

Besides the fact that their parents and grandparents aren't on it yet,  what really propelled Snapchat into the limelight was one unique feature - disappearing content. We've all heard the horror stories of posting something you immediately regret on Twitter or Facebook and by the time you take it down it's too late. Well, not with Snapchat. Any content sent disappears after a specified short period of time, like 10 seconds. The "stories" content lasts the longest at 24 hours. In the end, disappearing content means there's less chance for something a teen sends to be discovered and for them to get in trouble, which for them, is as good as gold. Though, Snapchat’s most recent announcement does allow users to pay to see old messages. We’ll have to see how this affects teens trust in the service.

3) Is it safe?

A question parents always ask when it comes to social media. Compared to all the social networks out there, we'd say it's pretty safe. The majority of contact is with people users know at a one to one level. With that, there are still ways to be unsafe on the app, as there is with anything in life.

Take a deep breath. Know that while your teen is probably on Snapchat, they are also probably behaving themselves. We always recommend having conversations with your teens about social media use and that you're there to support them, not stalk them.

Cody Barbierri

Written by Cody Barbierri

Experienced social media, public relations, and content expert with more than 10 years experience helping brands drive growth, increase engagement, and build loyalty.

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