Snapchat is more than a disappearing photo app

snapchat 2.0The results from a recent survey will not surprise parents with teenagers. According to the Piper Jaffray study “Taking Stock with Teens”, Snapchat is the number one social network for teens. For the first time, Snapchat surpasses Instagram with Snapchat receiving 28% of votes and Instagram a close second with 27%.

When Snapchat first launched, it was initially branded the sexting app. With its disappearing photos, this app seemed like the perfect way to share inappropriate pictures. While some teens did get in trouble with this app, most teens chose to share a silly face or a goofy moment with a friend.

When parents think about Snapchat, they usually lump it in with Instagram. With the latest release, Snapchat is moving beyond sharing a video or picture. Snapchat 2.0 is closer to Facebook Messenger or Skype vs. Instagram.

Snapchat is becoming an all in one messaging service. Typically, teens use many apps to communicate with their friends: a selfie on Instagram, a message on Kik and a study session on Facebook messenger. With Snapchat 2.0, teens can share not only pictures with messages; they can make voice calls, video calls and send audio and video messages. With Snapchat’s new features, teens may never have to leave Snapchat to be with their friends.

Parents may want to take a second look at this app. Given how hard it is to monitor, Snapchat is a challenge. Without some oversight, parents will find it difficult to mentor and guide their child as they learn about communicating in the digital world. For more information about Snapchat 2.0, I wrote a piece for Familoop’s Parenting Blog, What Parents need to know about Snapchat 2.0.

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