Snapchat Simplifies Location Sharing, Improves Blocking Feature to Protect Younger Users

Snapchat on Tuesday announced that it was expanding its safety features on the popular photo and video messaging platform in an attempt to protect younger users on the platform. Users will be able to use the block feature more effectively, while location sharing has been simplified. Meanwhile, Snapchat says it will prevent strangers from sending a friend request to teenagers if they do not have any mutual friends. In-app warnings displayed inside the app will also warn younger users of the risks of responding to suspicious users.

Snapchat improves blocking functionality

According to details shared by Snapchat, the messaging app’s blocking functionality has been expanded in order to protect users from being harassed repeatedly. If a user blocks someone on Snapchat, the app will automatically block new friend requests from other accounts created on the same device. Rival Instagram allows users to automatically block additional accounts created by a user.

Stricter Snapchat friend request policy, simplified location sharing

Users on Snapchat will no longer be able to send friend requests to users between the ages of 13 and 17, unless they have mutual friends. Similarly, users who access the app in “locations often associated with scamming activity” won’t be able to send requests to users. According to the company, a localised version of this feature will be introduced in India soon.

Location sharing on Snapchat has also been simplified, allowing younger users to control which friends can see their location, on the Snap Map feature. The app will also show users regular reminders to review a list of people they have shared their location with, according to the company.

Improved in-app warnings on Snapchat

In order to protect teenagers from suspicious users and scammers, Snapchat says that its in-app warning system is now smarter and can warn users about messages from users who are from another region. A warning will also be shown to people who receive messages from users who have been blocked or reported.

Snapchat says the new features announced on Tuesday will be rolled out across the service, and are aimed at keeping users safe on the platform. The service allows teenagers to use the platform, and these new features could help the platform reduce the risk of inappropriate content or contact from older users, cyber bullies, and scammers. 

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