Tuesday was/is* Internet Safety Day (*depending on your location) and Snapchat took the opportunity to raise awareness of safety on its service after it introduced its ‘Safety Center’ resources site in partnership with three non-profit organizations.
“Most of our community uses Snapchat every day, and it’s a big part of their lives, that’s why we’ve built this safety center with real-world, practical advice for staying safe while using Snapchat,” the company said.
The Safety Center — which can be found at snapchat.com/safety — is primarily targeted at parents and teachers who know little about the service, but there is also information for users, such as its community guidelines. Snapchat said it has partnered with three non-profits — ConnectSafely, iKeepSafe, and UK Safer Internet Center — for this project.
This move to raise awareness of safety practices makes sense for Snapchat as the messaging app seeks to become an integral part of the internet lives of young people in the U.S., and beyond. In many cases it already is, and, with the launch of its Discover platform — featuring content from media companies, and even an exclusive music video from Madonna — the company aims to makes its app even more engaging, and a daily must for young people.
Snapchat made even more headlines than usual this week after a teenage user posted a photo with the body of a 16-year-old who he is believed to have been murdered. Police said that a screenshot of the Snapchat image is a key piece of evidence in the case. Though particularly gruesome, Snapchat’s involvement in this incident shows how mainstream it has become.
But Internet safety isn’t just about how users behave. Companies themselves have a responsibility to securely store data and information from their users. Snapchat hasn’t exactly got a stellar record in this department — the company blamed third party services for leaking data of thousands of users last year, but it did set about increasing user data security by disabling all third-party apps that plug into its service.