DUBAI: Instant messaging service Snapchat, in cooperation with Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media, has launched in the Kingdom its Family Center parental-control feature.
The new feature was introduced to the app in August in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It was launched last month in the UAE at an event attended by Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and other government officials.
“Family Center strikes the right balance between privacy and safety,” said Esra Assery, CEO of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media.
“The new service adds another layer of protection to existing safeguards, ensuring that teens must be mutual friends before they can start communicating with each other,” she added.
Family Center is designed to give parents and guardians more control over children’s Snapchat habits. It allows them to view details of the people with whom a child is communicating without seeing the content of the conversations, to protect the privacy of the young person. Any suspicious accounts can be easily reported to Snapchat.
Family Center is designed to be used both by parents and children. Parents and guardians are required to install Snapchat on their own devices and then link their accounts to those of their children to access the feature. They can also invite other family members, age 25 or over, to use the feature.
“With Family Center, we are facilitating important conversations between parents and their children about online safety, which will positively impact online experiences for Saudi society in the long run,” said Georg Wolfart, head of Public Policy at Snap.
The platform’s monthly addressable reach in the Kingdom is 20 million users, over 90 percent of people aged 13 to 34 years old, he added.
According to a study by data analytics and brand consulting company Kantar, 71 percent of parents in the Kingdom use Snapchat.