With a focus on fostering a safe and positive in-app experience, Snapchat has introduced a suite of new safety features all designed to strengthen and reinforce the real friend relationships that makes Snapchat so unique. These new features aim to further safeguard teens and the broader community from online harms.


To kick off an essential dialogue on teen online safety, Snapchat hosted a panel discussion featuring influential parents Tisca Chopra and Maria Goretti, actor and Snap Star Nitanshi Goel,  Aparajita Bharti, Co-Founder of Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC) and Uthara Ganesh, Head of Public Policy at Snap. The panel explored critical topics such as the importance of digital literacy, maximizing the use of available online resources, and maintaining open dialogues with teenagers at home.


The evening concluded with the introduction of Snapchat's new suite of tools, including 1) improved blocking capabilities 2) simplified location-sharing 3) enhanced friending protections and 4) expanded in-chat warnings. These expanded products build on Snapchat’s ongoing work to make it difficult for strangers to contact people.


Uthara Ganesh, Head of Public Policy-South Asia, Snap Inc. added, “Snapchat has always been a unique space where you can truly be yourself and connect with your real friends. Young people across India love spending time on our platform, and we are dedicated to making it a safe and positive place for everyone, especially teens. Our newest safety features are all about supporting genuine friendships, empowering teens to make smart choices, and ensuring that every Snapchatter feels secure and confident while using our app."


Blocking Improvements


The platform has long offered tools for Snapchatters to easily block someone if they no longer wish to be in touch with them. Sometimes, bad actors create new accounts and continue to contact people who have blocked them. In an effort to prevent bullying and potential repeat harassment, we’re introducing improvements to our blocking tools: blocking a user will also now block new friend requests sent from other accounts created on the same device, with the goal of further limiting outreach from other existing or new accounts created by the blocked account.


Simplified Location-Sharing and Additional Reminders

Snapchatters – including teens – are sent regular reminders to check their account security and privacy settings, and Snapchatters can only share their location with people they are friends with. Now we’re introducing more frequent reminders to make sure that Snapchatters are always up to date on which friends they’re sharing their location with on the Snap Map. We’re also introducing simplified location-sharing, making it faster and easier for Snapchatters to customize which of their friends can see their location.


Enhanced Friending Protections

Previously Snapchat had announced teens will not be suggested in Quick Add or Search unless they have multiple mutual connections in common with the other person. The platform is now adding new friending safeguards that make it much harder for strangers to find and add teens. We will prevent delivery of a friend request altogether when teens send or receive a friend request from someone they don't have mutual friends with, and that person also has a history of accessing Snapchat in locations often associated with scamming activity. This applies regardless of whether the friend request was sent out by the teen, or sent to the teen from the suspected bad actor.


This feature is currently available in a select few countries and will be introduced in a more localized form in India soon.


Expanded In-App Warnings


Snapchat had introduced a pop-up warning when a teen receives a message from someone they don’t already share mutual friends with or have in their contacts. The message informs teens of potential risk so they can carefully consider if they want to be in contact, and reminds them to only connect with people they trust.


Now the platform is expanding these in-app warnings to incorporate new and advanced signals. Teens will now 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 – signs that the person may be a scammer. This feature will be made available in the US, UK, CA, AU, NZ, Nordics, and parts of Europe. 


Further commenting on Snapchat’s safety features, Tisca Chopra, Actor, Author & Celebrity Mom, said, “With teenagers spending so much time online, ensuring a safe digital environment is crucial today. I make it a point to stay informed about my daughter’s digital activities without being too intrusive. I appreciate Snapchat's focus on safety through its platform design, demonstrating a commitment to protecting young users. By fostering a secure space, Snapchat helps our teenagers interact with confidence and peace of mind. This thoughtful approach also encourages open conversations between parents and their teenagers about responsible digital behavior, essential for navigating the digital landscape safely.”


Maria Goretti, Actor, TV Host & Celebrity Mom, added, “Our teens are at a sensitive age, and it’s important for us as parents to understand their digital lives while ensuring they know their boundaries. My teenagers use Snapchat regularly, and it’s comforting to know they are in a safe environment. Snapchat’s proactive stance on user safety reassures me that my teens can connect with their real friends in a positive space. Their genuine commitment to protecting users is something every parent can appreciate.”


These new tools build on the platform's ongoing commitment to help Snapchatters communicate with their close friends in an environment that prioritizes their safety, privacy, and well-being.